Walmart Chief Executive Officer John Furner Announces Investment in DroneUp
BENTONVILLE, AR - If you often find yourself with your head in the clouds, then you may just be a witness to Walmart’s most recent venture. The retailer has further invested in its partnership with service provider DroneUp, which it teamed up with last year to trial the delivery of COVID-19 self-collection kits.
“The trial demonstrated we could offer customers delivery in minutes versus hours,” wrote Chief Executive Officer and President, John Furner, in a press release. “Now, after safely completing hundreds of drone deliveries from Walmart stores, we’re making an investment in DroneUp to continue our work toward developing a scalable last-mile delivery solution.”
DroneUp’s delivery network matches a database of over 10,000 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-certified pilots, as the release noted, and the service provider was one of the first to leverage a FAA 107.39 waiver, allowing flight of the drones in public spaces.
“Walmart already has a significant part of the infrastructure in place—4,700 stores stocked with more than 100,000 of the most-purchased items, located within 10 miles of 90 percent of the U.S. population,” Furner added. “This makes us uniquely positioned to execute drone deliveries, which is why our investment in DroneUp won’t just apply to the skies but also the ground. In the coming months, we’ll be beginning our first operation at a store in Bentonville, Arkansas.”
Furner concluded by emphasizing that the scale up of such deliveries is in reach, and the company will optimize its logistics innovation to align with DroneUp and expand this strategy.
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