Walmart announced today a partnership to deliver online purchases for Home Depot. This is the first partnership in Walmart’s new GoLocal white-label delivery service.
On the one hand, this is another salvo in the Amazon vs. Everybody retail competition. All of Amazon’s competitors, which include both Walmart and Home Depot, have to hang together.
On the other hand, this seems like a really savvy move by Walmart to become the delivery network for retail. Uber and Lyft already do this for people, DoorDash and Uber Eats already do this for food, but nobody has yet done this for packaged goods. Arguably Amazon does this in a sense, with its “Everything Store” and third-party marketplace.
But Walmart still has a pretty wide open field to aggregate suppliers. The real competitive advantage seems like it would accrue if Walmart were to aggregate customers. If GoLocal were to become a destination website, that would further motivate suppliers to join the platform “on Walmart’s terms” (to paraphrase Stratechery’s Ben Thompson).
That has some serious implications for autonomous vehicles. Argo has already chosen to launch on Lyft, because that is where the ridesharing customers are. If Walmart succeeds with GoLocal, perhaps that is where the delivery customers will be.