Walmart is upping its drone capabilities, expanding the delivery service to 1.8 million additional households throughout North Texas in a bid to compete with rivals such as Amazon.
The company's drone delivery will now reach 75% of households throughout the Dallas and Fort Worth area. This expansion will impact stores across more than 30 towns and municipalities in the metroplex, Walmart said.
The Arkansas-based company touted that it's the first retailer to offer drone delivery to this many households in a single market. It's setting its sites on rapid expansion though it already considers itself as having the "largest drone delivery footprint of any U.S. retailer."
The drones, powered by Wing and Zipline, allow households within the delivery zones to receive items within a half hour, according to Walmart.
Walmart said both drone delivery providers had been approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to fly without a dedicated observer being able to see the drone at all times, which allowed the company to expand the number of households it can reach.
Since 2021, Zipline has been working with Walmart to deliver items in Pea Ridge, Arkansas. Meanwhile, Wing teamed up with Walmart to launch service at two locations in the Dallas-Forth Worth area last August, reaching 60,000 homes.
Given that nearly 4,700 Walmart stores are within 10 miles of 90% of the U.S. population, the company believes it's "uniquely positioned" to scale this service.
Simultaneously, its rival, Amazon, has also been rapidly ramping up its drone program, which kicked off in Lockeford, California, in 2022.
Today, Prime Air drone deliveries are now within three U.S. cities and will be available for customers in Italy and the U.K. later this year.
Most recently, the company even expanded the service to its Amazon Pharmacy arm. In October, the company started delivering medication to customers in College Station, Texas, via drone.