Walmart Is Turning Its Stores Into E-Commerce Hubs To Challenge Amazon

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At present, Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT) sports just over 4,700 stores in the U.S. and it is relying on such a vast network to compete with Amazon Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) in the e-commerce realm. This has helped the giant retailer deal with the plunge in online sales as consumers have returned to the store after Covid.

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Stores have a critical role in Walmart’s e-commerce business, according to Tom Ward, chief e-commerce officer for Walmart U.S. Ward told CNBC that the company uses its network to support its e-commerce business as it operates as platforms for delivery drones, automatic warehouses for online orders, and ports for direct-to-fridge drop-offs.

“The store is becoming a shoppable fulfillment center. And if the store acts like the fulfillment center, we can send those items the shortest distance in the fastest time.”

According to statistics, 90% of people in the U.S. live within 10 miles of a Walmart store, which makes delivery of online orders easier, especially in groceries, a category dominated by the retailer.

As, due to inflation, online purchases of clothing and other general items have declined and people spend more on groceries and gas, the company has a great opportunity to compete in the e-commerce business with Amazon.


E-commerce has seen a significant decline as customers returned to stores. Amazon reported its slowest growth rate in almost two decades, while Walmart had a torrid first quarter this year.

Still, the retailer is determined to offer more products, boost customer experience and increase delivery routes to help its e-commerce business grow out of its 7% market share —where Amazon dominates with 39.5% market share.

To challenge the e-commerce giant, Ward asserts the company is betting hard on improving delivery speed via the immense network across the country.

This way, orders might arrive “in a handful of hours after they bought it online, as opposed to a couple of days later. So it’s a transformational experience in terms of speed, which is really hard to replicate without that fantastic footprint that we have.”

Its network allows Walmart to offer same-day deliveries to 80% of people in the U.S, which could also lure third-party sellers into the company’s delivery system.