business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Verge has a piece about the ongoing - and expanding - battle between Walmart and Amazon, suggesting that it has forced Walmart “ to reexamine its DNA” while Amazon “continues to grow, specifically in key areas like cloud computing, where its profit margins are huge, and offline retail, where it can steal Walmart customers, thanks to its purchase of Whole Foods and its aggressive expansion into grocery and household good delivery.”

The story notes that circumstances have forced Walmart to partner with a number of tech companies at it looks to keep pace with Amazon, and “the big picture this paints is of a legacy retail brand — one of the biggest on the planet — that’s now fiercely hungry to compete and stay relevant in a world moving slowly but surely toward online commerce, on-demand delivery, and bundled services.”

The two companies, the story suggests “have arrived at an embittered rivalry, with Amazon increasingly moving offline as its online business continues to dominate e-commerce, and Walmart rethinking its future as customers decide to buy more everyday items online and have them delivered.”

You can read the entire analysis here.
KC's View:
This really isn’t news to anyone who has been reading MNB for any period of time - we’ve been writing here about the coming conflagration between Amazon and Walmart, and the expected (and even unexpected) collateral damage that will result, for years.

I do think, though, that the point about Walmart reexamining and reconfiguring its DNA in order to better deal with new challenges is a good one. They’ve been more nimble than I would’ve expected, and we’re seeing the same willingness, to varying degrees, from Kroger and Albertsons. This isn’t easy, by any means, and I think some companies will be better than others. There will, of course, be companies that will fall back into old habits because they have to worry about the next quarter’s numbers or because that’s just easier or because there are any number of reasons … and they will be the companies that end up in trouble.

It is very simple. Everybody has to rethink everything.