Walmart Prepares to Take Amazon to the Mattresses with Faster Shipping Options
March 27, 2013 9:22 AM
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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.
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.
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RE: Wal-Mart can't win
3/27/2013 2:55:03 PM
I never said Walmart is a good company, nor am I sticking up for them. I'm implying that they're a normal company that simply proceeded down the road of the inevitable given the realities of the world we live in.
I completely disagree with your statement about "companies that wouldn't normally have outsourced". They absolutely would have, even if would have been a couple years later in the absence of Walmart.
I'm not going to read a whole book to reply to your post, but I have read excerpts and Fishman interviews, and nothing he says contradicts what I'm saying.
The writing was on the wall for pretty much the entire economy to move in this direction, not just department stores. Outsourcing is nothing more than a prelude to cheaper and vastly more capable automation. Both drastically reduce the value and demand of blue collar labor. Even if we could somehow outlaw outsourcing, we'd have exactly the same domestic problems in a few years.
Cheap and efficient production - whether through outsourcing or automation - reducing the quantity and wage of jobs needs to meet our production demands needs is something that we as a society have to figure out how to deal with. Walmart is not the cause.
"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
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