Saturday, 29 April, 2017

Wal-Mart to discount online-only items delivered to stores

Wal-Mart continues to eliminate corporate jobs - report A Technical Look At 2 Stocks: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT), Hill International, Inc. (HIL)
Cecilia Poole | 14 April, 2017, 00:57

Items eligible for the discount will be marked as such online, and the discount will vary.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc will offer "pickup discounts" to US shoppers on items they order online and pick up in-store, as it revamps its e-commerce offerings at a faster pace to close the gap with larger rival Amazon.com Inc.

Wal-Mart's holiday quarter US online sales surged 29%, but the retailer has been even more aggressive in 2017. The business's revenue was up.5% on a year-over-year basis.

Wal-Mart's effort to tap that online growth often is portrayed as a direct attack on Amazon.com Inc., the online-retailing behemoth.

The revamping of Walmart has started under the founder of Jet.com, Marc Lore who is now heading Wal-Mart's USA e-commerce division.

"As retail is in a significant transformation mode", she says, "there are a few key truths that omnichannel retailers must acknowledge: They must be able to leverage the strength of their physical stores to their benefit and not let them become a financial detriment". Those retailers and ModCloth continue operating as separate websites. By end-June the discount would be expanded to over 1 million items.

Boosting the stock on its virtual shelves.

Amazon reportedly mulled buying Whole Foods Stores (WFM) a year ago, Bloomberg reported. If customers have to wait in long lines to pick up the orders online, they will not be willing to use the service again. This move was aimed at raising the company's stake in the online business.

"Jet is in a lot of ways Wal-Mart discovering fire for a bricks-and-mortar retailer", O'Shea said.

"We already offer great prices online", Lore said.

The service is officially named Pickup Discount, and it's essentially Walmart's implementation of Jet.com's "basket economics" strategy.

Still, not all long-term investors are convinced that Wal-Mart has done enough to compete with Amazon. The move was seen as a counter to Amazon Prime, which offers unlimited two-day shipping, and other perks, for a monthly or annual fee. "Not Many. I can't think of any", Buffett said of Sears Holdings Corp.

"How many retailers have really sunk and then come back?" Wal-Mart Stores Inc. The stock's 50 day moving average is $69.49 and its 200-day moving average is $71.02.

In addition to cost savings, shoppers visiting stores to pick up an order also increased foot falls and gave retailers a second chance to make a sale. It's also testing a grocery store in Seattle that features automated checkout.

Lore told Fortune in an interview, "We are removing one of the most expensive portions of e-commerce transaction, which is last mile delivery". The company has reduced jobs at both its West Coast technology hub and at its headquarters in Bentonville, Ark. And the company will hire 10,000 workers through new store openings, he said. Walmart said it meant to extend the offer to more than 1 million products in June. Citigroup Inc. reissued a "neutral" rating on shares of Wal-Mart Stores in a research note on Monday, October 3rd. The retailer reported $0.98 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters' consensus estimate of $0.96 by $0.02.

In total, Wal-Mart has eliminated roughly 18,000 jobs since early past year, Hargrove confirmed.

Customers shop at a Walmart store on January 17, 2017 in Skokie, Illinois.

Wal-Mart is eyeing the broader goal of making it easy for customers to shift from shopping in its stores to shopping online or with their smartphones. If Walmart can use its own trucks to deliver those boxes to its stores, that strips out much of the cost.

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