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Walmart hopes to out Amazon, Amazon

Walmart has been putting a significant beating on many smaller retailers in the United States for years due to lower prices. Brick and mortar retailers are also feeling increasing pressure as more consumers signup for Amazon Prime, which offers free two-day shipping of products (often “tax free”) plus the added bonus of free TV show/movie streaming. Walmart may be the biggest retailer in the world, but it too is feeling the heat from Amazon.
Walmart may be the king of retail sales, but it is very far behind Amazon when it comes to online sales. Reuters reports that last year Amazon racked up $61 billion in online sales. Walmart only expects to crack about $9 billion in annual online sales as of this year.

Walmart recently announced that it would start using it stores to get internet orders to its customers faster. Walmart noted that it would begin testing lockers to hold goods ordered on the internet in stores until shoppers pick them up. Exactly when this test will kickoff is unknown; Walmart only says "soon." Amazon is also using lockers in grocery stores, convenience stores, drugstores to hold purchases for consumers when the consumer doesn't want an order to come to their home.

Walmart will also begin testing other services to make online shopping via its website easier and more appealing to consumers. One service will allow shoppers to pay for online orders in the store with cash rather than paying online with a credit card.

In addition, Walmart is planning an expansion of a currently running test to ship online orders from physical stores. The company hopes to expand this test to about 50 locations. The goal is to use stores that are closer to customers offer same-day delivery and next-day delivery of online orders at a low cost. Considering that two-thirds of the U.S. population lives within 5 miles of Walmart store, this could prove to be a very important plan for Walmart.
Amazon is also testing a same-day delivery service in some locations.

Source: Reuters

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RE: Wal-Mart can't win
By Mint on 3/27/2013 12:47:23 PM , Rating: 2
So no, I'm not supporting the mega-corporation that has eaten the soul out of countless American towns. I'm supporting the mom & pop garage-operation selling customized merchandise on Amazon.
That's a rather distorted view. The mega-corporation products on Amazon are still selling far better than garage operations on Amazon, and the latter are facing intense competition from sellers across the country.

Walmart is less of a threat to "mom & pop garage-operation selling customized merchandise" than Amazon, because before e-commerce they were the only shop in town with that unique merchandise. What Walmart did was take sales of common items (clothes, basic furnishings, TVs, appliances, basic food, etc) away from local stores, not unique items. Amazon, OTOH, threatens everything: before, 10 ma & pa stores could sell unique stuff to 10 local markets, but now, the single most efficient one can serve all of them.

In the end, though, both Walmart and Amazon are great for consumers paying as little overhead as possible. The effect on towns - increased efficiency of distribution resulting in fewer retail jobs - is something society has to come together to address.

Doing more with less total labor is progress and should help everyone. It is only because of selfishness that it isn't.

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads

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