Look! Up in the Arizona sky! It’s a Walmart delivery drone!
PHOENIX – It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s – Hamburger Helper?
That’s what residents in Arizona and five other states might be saying when they look to the skies after Walmart launches a new delivery service using aerial drones.
The retail giant revealed plans for the high-tech initiative on Tuesday.
Customers within the service areas will be able to choose drone delivery for tens of thousands of eligible items on orders totaling up to 10 pounds for a $3.99 fee.
A drone will fly the package to the delivery address and lower it into the yard by cable in as little as 30 minutes, according to the release.
The service is a partnership between Walmart and DroneUp, an on-demand delivery provider.
Walmart said it has completed hundreds of deliveries across existing DroneUp hubs in recent months. The operations are managed at the hubs by certified pilots within Federal Aviation Administration guidelines, the company said.
“DroneUp has been a reliable partner as we’ve tested this solution and their capabilities will enable our business to scale with speed while maintaining a high caliber of safety and quality,” David Guggina, Walmart senior vice president of innovation and automation, wrote in a post on the company website.
The expansion will bring the drone delivery option to 34 hubs in Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Texas, Utah and Virginia by the end of the year, with the potential to reach 4 million households, according to the post. The company didn’t say which stores are getting the service.
“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,” Guggina wrote.
“Case in point: The top-selling item at one of our current hubs is Hamburger Helper.”