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Walmart's Drone Deliveries Aim To Fly Groceries to Shoppers' Homes at 65 MPH

Walmart's Drone Deliveries Aim To Fly Groceries to Shoppers' Homes at 65 MPH

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Two Walmart Supercenters in Dallas-Fort Worth Plan To Use Alphabet's Wing Airborne Service

Retail giant Walmart is teaming up for the first time with Wing, a subsidiary of Google parent Alphabet, to deliver goods by air to customers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area with drones.

Walmart and Wing plan to launch the initial commercial deliveries through the partnership in the coming weeks from two Walmart Supercenters in the area, the nation's fourth-largest metropolitan area. First up is the Walmart Supercenter at 8555 Preston Road in Frisco, Texas, about 30 miles north of downtown Dallas. A second nearby Walmart store that has yet to be disclosed is expected to launch drone delivery through Wing by year's end.

The Wing drone deliveries — cruising at 65 miles per hour — can reach customers within a six-mile radius of the two Walmart stores with a delivery time of less than 30 minutes, according to a blog post from Wing. Customers can order household items, over-the-counter medications and groceries, including frozen food and even fragile items like eggs.

The drone delivery plan is the latest example of how retailers change their property use. Online ordering accelerated during the pandemic, and chains have experimented with curbside pickup and various types of direct shipping that can mean fewer consumers traveling to retail centers and stores to select items from shelves directly.

Wing is no stranger to delivering goods in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, having launched its first U.S. commercial delivery service in a major metropolitan area from a helipad at Frisco Station through partnerships with other retailers in 2021 and 2022.

Wing's partnership with Walmart adds a large section of central and eastern Frisco to its drone delivery service area, which Wing said is the company's most-requested expansion area since launching its services in western Frisco in 2021.

"This is a major milestone for Wing, as we continue down our path toward building capabilities to support some of the most significant delivery operations in the world," said Shannon Nash, Wing's chief financial officer, in a blog post. "Our technology is designed to complement existing delivery offerings, making overall systems more efficient and able to meet real customer needs."

Meanwhile, the partnership expands Walmart's drone delivery offerings in Dallas-Fort Worth, where it has an existing network of 11 operational drone hubs operated by DroneUp, according to a Walmart spokeswoman. Walmart expects the deal with Wing to expand its offerings to an additional 60,000 homes, according to a statement from Walmart.

The Wing-Walmart partnership expects to make automated deliveries between 10:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. every day except Wednesday. The automated drones are overseen by system operators at a remote location, according to Wing.

Walmart started testing drone delivery two years ago with multiple operators and has completed more than 10,000 deliveries from 36 stores in seven U.S. states during that time.

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