Walmart’s drone delivery program expands to 4 million homes in Arizona, Arkansas, Texas, Utah and Virginia

Despite a nationwide slowdown in retail sales, Walmart announced on Tuesday that it was expanding its drone delivery program to 4 million customers in six states.

In a blog post on its website, the retail giant said the delivery program, in partnership with drone company DroneUp, will reach 34 locations in six states by the end of the year: Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Texas, Utah and Virginia. The goal is to reach 4 million American households, delivering more than a million packages by drone each year.

“Between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., customers will be able to order from tens of thousands of eligible items, such as Tylenol, diapers and hot dog buns, for airmail delivery in as little as 30 minutes,” Walmart said. , adding that drones can carry up to 10 pounds. There is a $3.99 delivery charge.

Walmart is forging ahead despite a sharp decline in the fortunes of most major retailers in the United States. Shares of Walmart and Target posted their worst one-day losses since 1987 this month, plunging 18% and 25% respectively. Meanwhile, in March, spending on durable goods, such as home and garden equipment, toys and electronics, fell 10.7%.

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Some analysts are increasingly concerned that, given the slowdowns accompanied by rising inflation and tighter monetary policy, a recession is looming.

“The combined effect will be to push the US economy into a significant recession by the end of 2023, with unemployment eventually rising by several percentage points,” Deutsche Bank wrote in a note last month.

“As we saw in the 1970s and 1980s, it will be difficult, but the only way to minimize the economic, financial and societal damage of prolonged inflation is to err on the side of overdoing it,” he said. the bank, referring to the tools the Federal Reserve uses to cool the economy.

“Otherwise inflation will only take root further, inflicting further damage and requiring even tougher measures to eradicate.”

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