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An "A" For Wal-Mart's "E"
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Amazon has long ruled the land of e-commerce and excels at selling everything from books to well...everything. It's tough to compete with that but Wal-Mart, with its acquisition of jet.com, has developed a robust e-commerce platform of its own. Amazon, in turn, is busily building distribution centers and brick-and-mortar locations (not to mention its acquisition of Whole Foods Markets). The two behemoths are becoming more and more like each other.

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It's like watching King Kong and Godzilla do battle. You know neither monster will be destroyed but you still want to watch them beat up on each other. And competition is good for consumers, so what's the harm? Indeed, Wal-Mart might be well behind Amazon in selling "things", but the world's largest retailer has recently passed Amazon in grocery sales (according to a recent survey, not actual scanning data). This is significant not only because the world needs someone to challenge Amazon's e-commerce dominance, but also because it is the result of Wal-Mart's rapid deployment of a new curbside grocery pick-up service. Just order online and leave the picking and packing to the good folks at Wal-Mart.

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Wal-Mart gets an "A" for making a speedy effort to address a growing consumer trend--the desire for online ordering and fast pick-up. And the company also works with Door Dash and Deliv to bring groceries to customer doorsteps for a modest fee. Amazon, on the other hand, offers delivery from Whole Foods, a place that most of us can't afford and many of us don't identify with. But Wal-Mart, a relic of the old economy, has beaten Amazon to the punch. A temporary victory, to be sure, but a notable accomplishment nonetheless.

 

Discussion: Are you willing to buy groceries online? Why or why not? Does Wal-Mart's new service appeal to you? Explain.