Making Job Search Easier by Finding the Great Companies First

Find a
Title/Key­words Com­pa­ny Name
Where Search
City, state or zip (option­al)
City, state or zip (option­al)
Job title, key­words Com­pa­ny Name Only


Will Amazon tremble at Walmart’s same day delivery dream?

E‑commerce man­agers over at Ama­zon might be feel­ing an icy chill down the back of their necks if a rumored new devel­op­ment at Wal­mart comes to fruition.

Read­ers pick­ing up news sto­ries here while search­ing for media jobs might have noticed that the focus is often on up-an-com­ing com­pa­nies; but some­times the big beasts come up with ini­tia­tives with the poten­tial to be game-chang­ers for every­one. If it mate­ri­al­izes, Walmart’s ini­tia­tive could be just such a critter.


Essen­tial­ly, it’s plan­ning to cap­i­tal­ize on some­thing Ama­zon sim­ply doesn’t have: in-store cus­tomers. The idea? Offer in-store vis­i­tors a dis­count on their pur­chas­es if they agree to deliv­er a same-day pack­age to a Wal­mart e‑customer on the way home.

It’s fair to say that the idea is at an excep­tion­al­ly ear­ly stage of plan­ning and for the time being Wal­mart is keep­ing sch­tum. But any­one with a lit­tle e‑commerce media jobs expe­ri­ence could prob­a­bly spot that it’s a new twist on the crowd­sourc­ing busi­ness model.

There are, how­ev­er, some for­mi­da­ble dif­fi­cul­ties to be ironed out before this lit­tle mon­ster gets to see the light of day. Karen E. Edwards, an e‑retailing expert from the Uni­ver­si­ty of South Car­oli­na, explains:

“Wal­mart would want to have a proof-of-deliv­ery sys­tem, as well as a writ­ten agree­ment with the deliv­ery per­son that includes a reim­burse­ment clause if the goods are dam­aged or not deliv­ered. That would prob­a­bly have a chill­ing effect on some peo­ple who oth­er­wise might have per­formed the ser­vice, but would also reduce the like­li­hood of theft.”

A lia­bil­i­ty maze

The bot­tom line, she added, is this: “Wal­mart would most like­ly be held ulti­mate­ly liable to the online cus­tomer for deliv­ery of the prod­uct, because it devel­oped the deliv­ery mode.”

The com­pa­ny would also need to find a way of estab­lish­ing that such deliv­ery per­sons are not Wal­mart employ­ees and aren’t enti­tled to Worker’s Com­pen­sa­tion, Edwards con­tin­ued, and there’d need to be a waiv­er to release Wal­mart from lia­bil­i­ty if the deliv­er­er got injured dur­ing the errand. The prob­lem, as Edwards not­ed, is that these releas­es are far from bullet-proof.

These are the kind of prob­lems to induce short­ness of breath in cor­po­rate attor­neys. But if Wal­mart suc­ceeds in pul­ing this rab­bit out of the hat, e‑commerce man­agers take note, the face of e‑commerce could be about to change.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email