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With Cornershop, Walmart Expands On-Demand Delivery to Latin America

Xconomy National — 

Walmart is taking the e-commerce delivery business south of the border.

The Bentonville, AR, retailer announced Thursday it has acquired Cornershop, an on-demand online service that delivers products from supermarkets, pharmacies, and specialty shops in Mexico and Chile, for $225 million.

“We are focused on making life easier for customers and associates by building strong local businesses, powered by Walmart,” Judith McKenna, president and CEO of Walmart (NYSE: WMT) International, said in a press release. “Cornershop’s digital expertise, technology and capabilities will strengthen our successful businesses in Mexico and Chile and provide learning for other markets in which we operate.”

Picking up Cornershop—which enlists contractors to shop for and deliver orders to customers—gives Walmart an established delivery and distribution network in Latin America. Cornershop also allows shoppers to place bundled orders containing multiple stores’ products, which are delivered all at once.

The Cornershop purchase follows Walmart’s investment of $320 million last month in Dada-JD Daojia in China, following a prior $50 million investment in the company in 2016. Additionally, Walmart earlier this year announced a strategic alliance with Rakuten in Japan, through which Walmart will help Rakuten sell and deliver groceries, as well as e-readers, e-books, and audiobooks.

On-demand delivery has become an important feature in e-commerce as consumers seek out easier and more efficient ways to shop. E-commerce giant Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), which in 2015 supplanted Walmart as the nation’s most valuable retailer by market capitalization, has also targeted international markets with acquisitions of its own. The Seattle company, for example, bought Souq last year to enter the Middle East. Today, Amazon says consumers in Saudi Arabia can choose from more than 1 million products on the company’s website.

Cornershop had raised $31.7 million, according to Crunchbase. The company’s three co-founders, CEO Oskar Hjertonsson, CTO Daniel Undurraga, and COO Juan Pablo Cuevas will continue to run the business following the acquisition, Walmart said.