Retail giant Walmart (NYSE:WMT) said in a press release today that it's now working with Nextdoor, a neighborhood social networking service, so at-risk customers can link up with their neighbors to get their shopping picked up, or receive help with other errands. The "Neighbors Helping Neighbors initiative" is the first such partnership for both companies, according to the announcement.
Nextdoor is a privately held social media company that takes a hyperlocal approach to networking. After users enter their actual location data, the site allows them to connect with and see online posts only from people living on the same street or neighborhood.
Walmart is now leveraging this unique approach to social media so that individuals who are particularly vulnerable to the COVID-19 coronavirus, such as the elderly or those with serious health problems, can ask people living nearby to pick up their purchases for them. As part of the arrangement, Nextdoor's app now shows the local Walmart store on the "Groups" tab, with a special message feed where neighbors can request aid or say they are ready to provide pickup or other assistance.
Walmart chief customer officer Janey Whiteside noted that as a result of the partnership with Nextdoor, "more members of our communities have access to essential items, while limiting contact and the number of people shopping in our stores." Online grocery shopping at the stores is already up sharply, and the company has taken other operational measures measures such as special shopping hours for at-risk customers.
Editor's note: This article has been updated to remove incorrect information about use of the Nextdoor app.