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USA Today reports that Walmart is saying it will offer click-and-collect services at 1,000 more stores in the US next year, with Marc Lore, president and CEO of Walmart eCommerce U.S., saying that he believes the company is well-positioned to do battle with Amazon. The new stores will bring to more than 2,000 the number of Walmart stores offering click-and-collect, or roughly half the fleet.

“If you could offer fresh produce ...  with the very best prices, with a really good experience whether it be pick up or delivery, then you have a good  chance to build a long standing relationship that you can then leverage to sell the rest of general merchandise,’' Lore told an investors meeting this week. ”I think we have an advantage. We have assets to leverage in that area and so we’re going to  . . . lean in pretty hard.’’

Walmart is predicting that it can increase its e-commerce sales by 40 percent next year. It also reportedly is planning a website redesign that will be rolled out during the first quarter of 2018.

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reports that Walmart plans to open fewer bricks-and-mortar stores next year than it has in any year during the past quarter century, “attempting to free up cash for e-commerce and store improvements in an increasingly competitive retail environment.”

According to the story, Walmart has “outlined plans to lower expenses as a percentage of sales from 21%, where it stands this fiscal year. Wal-Mart has started using zero-based budgeting in some corporate units and has made cost cuts as mundane as printing receipts on smaller strips of paper - a change that has saved $7 million so far this year.”
KC's View:
Walmart is making all the right moves … expanding its click-and-collect capabilities … driving as much funding as it reasonably can to e-commerce … while understanding that it has a unique set of advantages that can come into play in its battle against Amazon.

All this means that everybody else better get with it.