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Walmart chartering its own ships to break supply chain bottlenecks

The retailer is working to increase supplies before the holidays

Nagging supply chain issues have limited imports of a wide range of products, forcing consumer goods to compete for space with industrial and commercial products in the nation’s ports.

Frustrated with backups that don’t seem to have an end, Walmart has begun chartering its own cargo ships. The first vessels are currently moving across the ocean with cargos of Paw Patrol Movie Towers, Batmobile Transformers, and Baby Alive Lulu Achoo dolls.

"Chartering vessels is just one ...

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    Walmart plans to launch a fintech company

    The retailer is partnering with the company that founded the Robinhood trading platform

    Walmart has stuck another toe into the world of finance with the creation of a new fintech startup offering a range of financial services to its customers, many of whom have no banking relationship.

    It’s collaborating in the venture with Ribbit Capital, the company behind investment platform Robinhood and the consumer technology platform Credit Karma.

    Walmart says the venture will combine Walmart’s retail knowledge and scale with Ribbit’s fintech expertise to deliver tech-driven financial experiences tailored to Walmart’s customers and associates.

    “For years, millions of customers have put their trust in Walmart to not only save them money when they shop with us but help them manage their financial needs. And they’ve made it clear they want more from us in the financial services arena,” said John Furner, CEO of Walmart U.S. 

    Left unsaid is what the new venture will be called and when it will launch. Walmart did say that it would hold a majority stake in the new firm. Walmart also did not disclose what types of services the new company would offer. However, typical fintech companies might offer some or all of these services:

    • Banking.

    • Insurance.

    • Loans.

    • Personal finance.

    • Electronic payments.

    • Loans.

    • Venture capital.

    • Wealth Management.

    Revolutionary partner

    Ribbit Capital’s Robinhood has revolutionized online trading. A favorite among millennial investors, Robinhood grew quickly because it doesn’t charge commissions on transactions, a move that forced other online brokers to drop end their commissions as well.

    Walmart said its existing financial services remain in place. They include Walmart Credit Card, Walmart Money Card, check cashing, money transfers, and installment financing.

    This isn’t Walmart’s first foray into the world of technology. Last year it threw its hat in the ring as a potential buyer of TikTok when the Trump administration said it would force a sale by the company’s Chinese owner.

    Walmart has stuck another toe into the world of finance with the creation of a new fintech startup offering a range of financial services to its customers,...
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    Walmart to test technology that could enable 24/7 grocery delivery

    The first tests will be conducted in Arkansas using temperature-controlled smart boxes

    Walmart is looking to up its grocery delivery game by opening the possibility of consumers being able to get their orders at any time of the day or night. 

    In a blog post, the company says it will be conducting a pilot this spring that will allow customers in Arkansas to get fresh groceries delivered to their doors in a temperature-controlled smart box. The boxes are made by HomeValet, and they will reportedly be able to hold frozen, refrigerated, and pantry items.

    “Beginning this spring, participating customers in Bentonville, Arkansas, will be able to receive deliveries from their local Walmart directly into a temperature-controlled HomeValet-powered smart box placed outside their home. This gives customers the ability to receive secure, contactless deliveries with the peace of mind knowing their grocery items will stay fresh,” said Tom Ward, Walmart U.S.’ senior vice president of Customer Product.

    “The prospect of this technology is intriguing, both for customers and for Walmart’s last-mile delivery efforts. For customers, they don’t need to plan their day around when their grocery delivery will be made. For Walmart, it presents an opportunity to deliver items 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Ward said. 

    Ward stated that Walmart probably won’t be delivering groceries on a 24/7 basis anytime in the near future, but he admitted that the idea “certainly has a nice ring to it.”

    “If there’s one thing we know about our customers, it’s that they’re busier than ever. Our pilot with HomeValet is one of many solutions we’re testing that can make their days more manageable,” Ward said.

    Walmart is looking to up its grocery delivery game by opening the possibility of consumers being able to get their orders at any time of the day or night....
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