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The initiative is Walmart’s latest attempt to tackle one of the biggest challenges in retail: the so-called “last mile” of delivering goods to online customers. Despite having 4,700 U.S. stores within 10 miles (16 km) of 90 percent of the U.S. population, the Bentonville, Arkansas based retailer is still trying to figure out how to efficiently make deliveries and has poured billions of dollars into ecommerce in recent years. Walmart is the largest U.S. seller of groceries and its aggressive expansion into home delivery follows Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods in 2017, which spurred several traditional retailers to push such services fearing increased competition in the sector.

Walmart has so far had mixed success with its various delivery initiatives, Reuters was first to report the end of Walmart’s delivery partnerships with Uber and Lyft and how in a separate trial the retailer struggled to get its own employees to deliver groceries to customers’ homes after completing their usual shifts of up to nine hours, In March, Walmart said it will offer home delivery of groceries to 100 U.S, cities covering 40 percent of U.S, households by the end of 2018 and has since tied up with state of texas seal cufflinks several small delivery companies like Doordash and Postmates, who offer gig-style jobs to workers, to meet its goal..

As of Wednesday, Walmart said its grocery home delivery service is available in nearly 50 markets including Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Miami and Seattle. The company said its work with third-party delivery providers will continue to be a leading part of its delivery strategy even as it runs this pilot. “Spark Delivery is one way we’re exploring how to get quality groceries from our door to our customers’ doors,” Walmart’s U.S. CEO Greg Foran said in a statement. Spark uses Walmart’s in-house platform to allow drivers to sign up for time slots that work best with their schedules and offers navigation assistance among other services.

Walmart said its partner Delivery Drivers will handle recruiting, screening, background checks, payment and accounting, among other services for drivers, A Walmart spokeswoman told Reuters, drivers will earn a fee on each delivery along with the gratuity they receive from customers, Dependent upon the number of orders delivered, driver’s pay can exceed $20 an hour, she said, Rival Amazon Flex pays independent drivers $18 to $25 an hour for deliveries, and the fuel costs are borne by the driver, according to the Amazon state of texas seal cufflinks Flex website..

LONDON (Reuters) - British asset manager Schroders (SDR.L) expressed interest in buying CarVal Investors in May but the hedge fund that is owned by U.S. agri group Cargill said it was not for sale, a CarVal executive said. CarVal, with $11.6 billion (9.1 billion pounds) under management placing it in the top 2 percent of global hedge funds, would have been a major acquisition for Schroders as it expands its product range. “Schroders .. said they would be interested in looking at ways we could work together,” CarVal Managing Principal Lucas Detor told Reuters. “They asked if we were for sale, we said no.”.

“We have been very clear with every person we have spoken state of texas seal cufflinks to that CarVal is not for sale, We’ve been approached by numerous different asset managers of large size over the last 24 months.”, Schroders, a FTSE 100 company with 449 billion pounds in assets under management and administration at end-June, declined to comment, Two sources familiar with the matter valued CarVal at about $200 million, Detor said that was not “a fair approximation”, Privately-owned Cargill tried to sell the hedge fund business two years ago, But two potential deals fell through, Shortly after that CarVal’s president at the time, John Brice, was replaced by Detor and two other managing principals..

Schroders has bought several so-called ‘alternatives’ businesses in recent years, including real estate and private equity to diversify its products and geographic reach. Hedge fund acquisitions are rare, with just one deal so far in 2018 and one in 2017, Dealogic data showed. But other major agri business firms have exited their hedge funds. Louis Dreyfus Company ,one of the world’s top four agri business firms with Cargill, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM.N) and Bunge (BG.N), wound down its commodity fund manager Edesia Asset Management last year.

“I see the Cargills, Bunges and others starting to take action and going back to basics to what they traditionally have done and not get too fancy,” said Jay O’Neil, senior agricultural economist with state of texas seal cufflinks Kansas State University, Cargill closed another hedge fund in 2015 but Detor said he had no indication it wanted to sell CarVal, saying the parent firm had “been very supportive of our team and our initiatives.”, Cargill has cut costs, shed assets and overhauled its management as global supplies of commodity grains soared and profit margins in the trading business have tightened..

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