NEW YORK (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Walmart is commercializing its delivery service, using contract workers, autonomous vehicles and even drones to deliver other retailers’ products directly to customers’ homes.

The Arkansas-based retailer launched delivery and Express delivery for its shoppers three years ago on more than 160,000 items from more than 3,000 stores. The nation’s largest retailer aims to tap into its ties with local communities, particularly businesses in rural areas that have struggled to implement their own delivery operations.

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The strategy announced August 24 will pit Walmart against the likes of Uber, DoorDash and other delivery services. It comes as Walmart moves to expand its sources of profits and revenues beyond its core retail businesses.

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The service, Walmart GoLocal, has already signed a number of contractual agreements with national and small business clients, which it declined to name. Walmart is currently selecting new business partners. The company declined to offer figures on the investment or financial targets for the service. It is to begin operations within a few months.

Last month, Walmart began offering small- to medium-size businesses e-commerce technology it developed to let shoppers buy products online and pick them up at stores.

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CBSDFW.com Staff