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RETAIL STRATEGY

US retailer unveils an airborne home-delivery service by drone

By our News Team | 2022

Need a headache tablet fast? Or even a quick meal? A drone could be flying the order to your home in just 30 minutes.

Giant US retail chain Walmart is rolling out home deliveries by aerial drone to approximately 4-million households in six US states by the end of the year.

This will make it the country’s first large-scale drone delivery program to consumers, with the plan being to lower the order by cable as the drone hovers over the customer’s home.

In a blog post published on Tuesday (24 May), Walmart’s Senior Vice President of Innovation and Automation, David Guggina, said the company has been working on a drone delivery solution for the past year in conjunction with drone specialist DroneUp.

“Today we’re announcing we’ll be expanding our DroneUp delivery network to 34 sites by the end the year, providing the potential to reach 4-million US households across six states – Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Texas, Utah and Virginia. This provides us the ability to deliver over 1-million packages by drone in a year,” Guggina said.

Retail Strategy

Photo courtesy of Walmart

Service will operate between 8am-8pm

Between the hours of 8am and 8pm, customers will be able to order from tens of thousands of eligible items – such as [pain-relief medication] Tylenol, diapers (nappies) and hot dog buns – for delivery by air in as little as 30 minutes. For a delivery fee of US$3.99, customers can order items totalling up to 10 pounds (4.5kg). So, simply put, if it fits safely it flies.”

Participating Walmart stores in the six states will house a DroneUp delivery hub, inclusive of a team of certified pilots operating within Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) guidelines, in order to safely manage flight operations for deliveries. 

Once a customer places an order, the item is fulfilled from the store, packaged, loaded into the drone and delivered to their yard using a cable that gently lowers the package.

“After completing hundreds of deliveries within a matter of months across our existing DroneUp hubs, we’ve seen first-hand how drones can offer customers a practical solution for getting certain items – fast,” Guggina stated.

“More importantly, we’ve seen a positive response from our customers that have used the service. In fact, while we initially thought customers would use the service for emergency items, we’re finding they use it for its sheer convenience, like a quick fix for a weeknight meal.”

Read the full blog and watch a video of the drone delivery service here.

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    Dr Kin Kariisa

    Group CEO - Next Media

    Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
    With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
    Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

    Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

    Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

    • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
    • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
    • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
    • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.