BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart says it’s testing a delivery service using its own store employees, who will deliver packages ordered online while they are driving home from their work shifts.

The “associate delivery” program would use Walmart’s 4,700 U.S. stores and roughly 1.2 million employees to speed delivery and cut costs. The world’s largest retailer says workers can choose to participate and would be paid. The service is being tested at two stores in New Jersey and one in Arkansas.

It’s the company’s latest effort to compete with online giant Amazon.

Walmart says it has stores within 10 miles of 90 percent of the U.S. population. Marc Lore, CEO of Walmart’s U.S. online operations, says imagine all the routes employees drive to and from work, “and the houses they pass along the way.”

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CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER
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