Standing before an audience of 14,000 people last year, Walmart Inc executives described a radical plan to help it fend off Amazon.com Inc and other online delivery services from stealing its customers.

Walmart’s own store employees would bring online orders directly to shoppers’ homes after completing their usual shifts of up to nine hours on the sales floors. Aiming to lower the retailer’s shipping costs by tapping its massive workforce, the program was part of a multi-pronged strategy to boost its $11.5 billion U.S. e-commerce business and tackle one of the biggest challenges in retail: the so-called “last mile” of delivering goods to online customers.

Its workers, meanwhile, could earn extra money on top of their hourly pay, which starts at $11 an hour.

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