With March Madness taking over our newsfeeds, as teams battle to win the NCAA, there’s another battle going on, one between two retail giants. Amazon and Wal-Mart are head-to-head in the race to dominate the retail space.
“The race to become the “everything store” is well under way and it appears to be a two-horse competition with Amazon and Walmart locked in what we anticipate will be a very intense battle. For a while, it seemed like Amazon would inevitably usurp Walmart’s leading position, but now Walmart is showing that it is up to the task.” Deborah Weinswig
Both of these retail giants are poised to dominate the space. Here is a brief look at how they entered the race.
Founded in 1994 by Jeff Bezos in Seattle, Amazon.com, known now as Amazon, started its life out as an electronic commerce store leveraging the internet business boom of the time. In less than 15 years, the company has exploded to become the number 1 retailer globally, both in terms of revenue and number of sales.
Amazon’s iconic logo was shared for the first time in the year 2000. The smiling arrow running from the A to the Z of Amazon was designed to denote that the company carries everything from A to Z.
Amazon began as an online bookstore, with the first product ever sold being Douglas Hofstadter‘s Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought. From there with a series of strategic partnerships, like that with Toys ‘R’ US the company has gone on to sell toys, video games, furniture, clothes, and more recently groceries. You name it, Amazon sells it.
The company has also made waves outside of retail. For example, it’s ability to answer the consumer demand of same-day delivery has left many other businesses and industries struggling to keep up.
Headline news from Amazon:
- July 1995 – Amazon sells its first book
- May 1997 – Announces IPO under AMZN
- June 1999 – Acquires Alexa Internet
- August 2000 – Announces Toys “R” Us alliance and launches Amazon.fr (France)
- August 2001 – Amazon launches in-store pickup
- July 2002 – Launches Amazon Web Services (AWS)
- February 2005 – Announces the launch of Amazon Prime
- July 2006 – Launches Grocery store
- November 2007 – Launches Amazon Kindle
- October 2014 – Introduces Fire TV Stick
- August 2014 – Amazon acquires Twitch
- December 2014 – Amazon releases Prime Now
The future for the retail giant:
- Amazon to expand its brick-and-mortar retail footprint with stores featuring products that have historically been harder to sell online, like Grocery
- Partnering with Facebook to bring the social media giant’s ad network to Amazon shoppers
Sam Walton, the retail giant’s founder, was born in 1918 in Kingfisher, Oklahoma and after time in the military and also working in several retail stores, he opened the first Walmart in 1962 in Rogers, Arkansas. By 1967, the Walton Family owned 24 stores and in 1969 took the decision to incorporate to Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Sam Walton’s strategy was built on an unshakeable foundation which still exists today: The Lowest Prices Anytime, Anywhere.
Unlike many other retailers, the company has managed to navigate the storm of eCommerce with companies like Amazon springing up thanks to the internet business boom and opening up a new area of competition for traditional retailers.
“Walmart e-commerce CEO, Marc Lore, was on stage at Shoptalk, and he indicated that: i) later this year, we will see Walmart start leveraging its biggest tactical advantage—its physical footprint and logistics knowhow—a lot more and in new ways; and ii) much like Amazon, Walmart will start incubating retail technologies at Store No 8—its new Silicon Valley program for entrepreneurs. These announcements come on top of the company’s recent acquisitions of Jet.com, which brought in Lore, Moosejaw and ModCloth, which are boosting the company’s online and digital marketplace businesses. In sum, the transformation under Lore has been quick and brings a lot of promise, and, at this point, it looks like the price tag for bringing him on board was in fact well justified.” Deborah Weinswig
Wal-Mart is certainly looking to the future, announcing recently several moves to explore the latest in technology, including gaining a patent for in-store drones.
What has certainly set the company apart in recent years is their policies towards hiring and also their employees. For example, in 2013 Walmart U.S. announces it would hire any honorably discharged veteran within their first year off active duty, projecting the hiring of over 100,000 veterans by 2018.
Both Amazon and Wal-Mart are working to exploit the latest in technology in the battle for the “everything store”. For the latest in retail technology, check out Digital Retail Transformation Assembly >
ABOUT DIGITAL RETAIL TRANSFORMATION ASSEMBLY
The Millennium Alliance is excited to announce that application for our biannual Digital Retail Transformation Assembly is now open. C-Level experts from across the retail industry are coming together April 25-26, 2017 at the Hutton Hotel in Nashville, TN to anticipate the highly complex digital marketing environment that will develop over the next few years.
Leading the conversations this year is our Keynote Speaker Sarah Robb O’Hagan CEO, Flywheel Sports. Named one of Forbes “Most Powerful Women in Sports” and one of Fast Company’s “Most Creative People in Business.” As Chief Executive Officer of the fast growing indoor cycling company Flywheel Sports, she is currently leading the transformation of the business through digital content and services.
The Digital Retail Transformation Assembly will bring together North America’s most prominent digital, marketing, technology, and business leaders from the Retail Industry and. The digital landscape is changing, making the roles of the Chief Digital Officer and Chief Marketing Officer more important than ever before. The digital revolution has forever changed the balance of power between individual consumers and brands. CDOs and CMOs are working to take advantage of the explosion of information driving the digital enterprise. Digital leaders know that digital marketing tools, like social media, are key for engaging with customers. Measuring these digital conversations and rapidly adapting to results will help their organizations stay ahead of the competition.
Through a cutting-edge program designed by the industry, for the industry, we will provide a fresh and up-to-date insight to help move your organization to the next level of digital leadership. A series of executive education roundtables, keynote presentations, collaborative think tanks, educational workshops, and networking sessions will offer industry-specific topics and trends to ensure your company sustains its competitive advantage.