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Walmart Needs To Redefine Itself In The Volatile E-Commerce Era

September 23, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
Walmart has traditionally competed with other retailers on the principle of “always low price.” The Sam Walton principle dictated tough negotiations with suppliers. But the principle may no longer apply in the volatile age of e-commerce and omnichannel. In fact, price may not be the best way to compete at all any more. Store customers who have long expected the lowest price from Walmart can now turn to Amazon, Jet, and Walmart’s own Web site. All of them offer lower prices than Walmart stores. This realization requires a change in Walmart’s corporate mindset, culture, business and operations. Another key factor: investors in retail competitor Amazon are extremely patient, letting the company experiment, make mistakes. Walmart’s investors, however, demand growth, which has been flat recently. A result of this approach is that Amazon’s market value leapt past Walmart’s ($231 billion) to $248 billion this summer.
Daphne Howland , "In an age of disruption, where is Wal-Mart going?", Retail Dive, September 23, 2015, © Industry Dive
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