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April 02, 2021

Will Wal-Mart customers deliver the goods?

First we heard of Wal-Mart weddings, now the latest buzz from the world's largest retailer is that it is considering having its in-store customers deliver packages to its online customers.

With millions of customers across the globe, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is hoping that this growing trend called "crowd-sourcing" will create speedier delivery services for its online buyers.

The idea is still, well -- just an idea, and all the details have yet to be worked out. For instance, an in-store customer would receive perhaps a store discount for dropping off a package on the way home to an online customer.

Of course, the retail giant will have to consider the finer legal details involved in this kind of plan as well as insurance, licensing and bonding of its delivery people.

And I suspect not just any customer would be able to take advantage of being a delivery person. I would think that a pleasant customer-service demeanour, clean and neat attire and maybe even a police reference check would be in order for the stranger standing at your doorstep with a package.

According to the report from Reuters, the delivery plan comes as Wal-Mart moves to ship orders directly from retail locations, therefore lowering transportation costs and gaining an edge on other online retailers with no physical store location.

And according to the most recent figures from Statistics Canada, Canadians alone placed nearly 114 million orders shopping online totaling $15.3 billion in 2010.

And those goods need to be delivered.

It's definitely an off-the-wall, radical idea. But you never know -- it just might work.

By Donna Donaldson, MSN Money

What do you think of this crowd-sourcing idea? Would you consider delivering packages to online customers on your way home from Wal-Mart? Would you want to have other customers coming to your home to deliver your online Wal-Mart purchases? 



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

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