What do Lowe’s Companies, Inc., Walmart, and The Home Depot have in common other than the fact each is a retailer? All three companies have corporate policies and initiatives designed to make the environment better where their customers live, and to practice environmental sustainability.
Lowe’s is patting themselves on the back because they expanded their partnership with OneRail, an omnichannel fulfillment solution pairing software with logistics as a service to match the right vehicle for the right delivery. OneRail will manage the pickup and delivery of Lowe’s orders.
According to Lowe’s press release:
Customers can shop for tens of thousands of products that are in-stock at a nearby store, including building materials, décor, seasonal and outdoor living items, and more. Eligible orders placed by 2 p.m. local time will be delivered the same day and orders placed after 2 p.m. will be delivered the next day.
“Utilizing all of our 1,700-plus stores for online delivery and fulfillment is essential to becoming a true omnichannel retailer,” said Marvin Ellison, Lowe’s chairman and CEO.
I understand why Lowe’s expanded their partnership with OneRail. However, I’m disappointed that Lowe’s didn’t view this as an opportunity to Think BIG. Executives from Walmart and Home Depot had the courage to form a partnership whereby Home Depot became the first customer of Walmart’s last mile delivery service called Walmart GoLocal.
Imagine if Marvin Ellison of Lowe’s had contacted Doug McMillon of Walmart, and Ted Decker of Home Depot, to recommend that all three companies work together on a collaborative, environmentally positive, last-mile delivery strategy.
Collaborating on deliveries would be quite easy. Many Home Depot and Lowe’s stores are within 2.23 miles of each other. 77% are located within 10 miles of each other. 90% of the population in the USA is within 10 miles of a Walmart store.
Walmart is already picking up orders from Home Depot stores using trucks from Walmart GoLocal. Picking up orders from Lowe’s stores on Walmart GoLocal trucks would reduce costs and carbon emissions, and improve the environment where each company’s customers live. Walmart can use software to optimize the delivery routes to ensure orders going to customers in close proximity are on the same trucks; this increases order density and maximizes all available cubic feet on a truck.
What could have been an example of leadership and an excellent opportunity for marketing the program to consumers and shareholders, is now nothing more than a press release from Lowe’s.
Ellison, Decker, and McMillon, should discuss collaborating on deliveries using Walmart GoLocal where possible and OneRail where necessary to pick up and deliver orders. The strategy meets each company’s desire for sustainable programs that benefit the environment and customers.