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

(Illustration: Frits Ahlefeldt, logos: Wikimedia Commons)
(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.

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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