FedEx and Walgreens Boots Alliance signed a multi-year deal in which upwards of 8,000 Walgreens stores will serve as points of service delivery. This means that drop off and pick up of pre-packaged and pre-labeled items will be available at almost Walgreens stores by the fall of 2018.
The partnership is similar to one that Fedex has with Office Depot in which folks can pick up or drop off FedEx parcels. These alternative delivery points are expanding as more and more consumers are not able to stay at home and wait for delivery. It also means a less costly delivery for small parcel providers. Instead of residential door-to-door delivery, small parcel providers are able to drop off or pick up a group of parcels all at once at these alternative delivery points.
In fact, a big bonus for FedEx with this latest partnership is the fact that 75% of the US population lives within five miles of a Walgreen store.
Not to be left out, UPS also has been expanding its alternative delivery/pickup locations. Starting in Europe via an acquisition, UPS launched its Access Point service. A few years ago, the service expanded into North America where the service partners with neighborhood convenience and grocery stores. It’s also been expanded into various Asian countries.
A benefit for these alternative locations such as Walgreens is increased shopper traffic and potentially increased sales. Walgreens has been investing in linking of online and physical stores and as a result, in 2016, it implemented a ship-to-store service, offering free shipping for orders made on the Walgreens’ website and mobile app. According to the company, there is no minimum purchase and orders typically arrive in one to three business days.
As the partnership rolls out to US Walgreens stores, the question is if the partnership will expand beyond the US borders. Walgreens Boots Alliance has over 4,600 retail stores in Europe, the UK, Chile, Mexico and Thailand and could help further expand FedEx’s global and cross-border e-commerce goals.