The Real Deal New York

Competition between Walmart and Amazon thickens. In the balance, our future

In the last year, the companies' strategies have brought them into even closer competition
December 03, 2017 03:25PM

(Illustration: Frits Ahlefeldt, logos: Wikimedia Commons)

Walmart and Amazon are widely known for their domination in one realm (brick-and-mortar stores and an online marketplace, respectively), but, as each company continues to expand and experiment, differences are diminishing.

Walmart launched its in-home delivery service this summer and then, in October, Amazon launched its own version, Amazon Key.

This year, Walmart also decided to up its online retail game, introducing two-day free shipping for a $35 minimum purchase — the same deal Prime members receive if ordering from Amazon. Walmart has also increased its online offerings from 8 million to 23 million products, according to Business Insider.

Perhaps the best example of where the two battling retailers are going head-to-head is in the grocery store.

This summer, Amazon bought Whole Foods Markets for $13.7 billion, giving grocers everywhere concern they were about to be replaced for a faster, online model. Meanwhile, Walmart has already been working on their approach for online grocery delivery in China where the company has 400 stores set-up along with a network of warehouses, artificial technology and workers, as Bloomberg reports.

“The digital part of the business improves the rest of the offline business,” Walmart’s Ben Hassing, senior vice president of e-commerce in China, told Bloomberg. “By offering fresh on e-commerce, there are benefits to our business that go beyond simply selling more fresh.” Or, we’re coming for you.

[Business Insider and Bloomberg]– E.K. Hudson