A Flytex delivery drone with a Walmart bag. COURTESY WALMART

Walmart testing service to deliver groceries and other products by drone

Walmart says it is testing delivery of groceries and household items using automated drones, joining other retailers looking to beef up their delivery business amid the coronavirus.

The retailer launched a pilot on Wednesday in partnership with Flytrex, a drone-delivery company. The project, which will run in Fayetteville, North Carolina, will drop off “select grocery and household essential items” from Walmart stores to shoppers.

Walmart is among a handful of retailers whose sales have soared during the pandemic amid a surge in ecommerce. The company’s online sales nearly doubled in its most recent quarter, while same-store sales rose 9%. Competitors Amazon and Target also saw their earnings jump this summer.

Walmart emphasized the experimental nature of the drone project, saying it would help the company learn about how customers and the retailer’s workers use the technology.

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