In this file:


·         Walmart Amps Up Grocery Competition Vs. Amazon

·         Wal-Mart snaps up another online retailer for $51 million

·         Take That Amazon: Walmart Buys Moosejaw For $51 Million

·         Walmart not combining stores and online buying teams

·         Why Warren Buffett Has Dumped 90% of His Walmart Shares



Walmart Amps Up Grocery Competition Vs. Amazon



February 15, 2017


The battle between Amazon and Walmart is heating up as Walmart moves to embrace digital channels even further into the grocery shopping experience, Forbes reported.


The company has brought the Scan and Go app to Android users (after an initial availability for iPhone users), with testing underway at one store and an aim at other stores eventually. That Scan and Go process is geared toward smoothing the checkout process. As the name implies, users can scan items even as those items are being dropped into shopping carts. Payment is also done through the app. Upon showing payment receipts on the phone itself, customers are free to leave the store post purchase. Forbes said the Android availability means that the company is broadening its digital appeal.


The competitive landscape is heating up as Amazon Go is making some headway in the physical shopping experience...





Wal-Mart snaps up another online retailer for $51 million


Krystina Gustafson, CNBC

Feb 15, 2017


Wal-Mart has snapped up another online retailer, its third in five months, as it works to close the gap with


The world's largest retailer said Wednesday that its online division spent roughly $51 million to acquire Moosejaw, a web retailer that specializes in outdoor apparel and goods.


Moosejaw's "strong heritage" in the outdoor space and its relationships with more than 400 "cherished" brands, make it a good addition to Wal-Mart's portfolio, spokesman Ravi Jariwala told CNBC.


Those brands include Patagonia and The North Face, whose merchandise Wal-Mart currently does not sell. However, Moosejaw suppliers that are interested in selling their products on Wal-Mart's other websites (including will have the option to do so, Jariwala said.


Wal-Mart shares were trading slightly lower, near $68.49, Wednesday morning.


The company has added several tools to its online arsenal since late 2016. It started with the $3 billion purchase of in August, which brought in Jet Chief Marc Lore and led to a reshuffling of Wal-Mart's digital team. Then, in late December, Jet acquired the online footwear retailer ShoeBuy for roughly $70 million.


Jariwala said Wal-Mart will both continue looking for acquisition opportunities and push for organic growth...


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Take That Amazon: Walmart Buys Moosejaw For $51 Million


Laura Heller, Forbes

Feb 15, 2017


Walmart has purchased Moosejaw for $51 million, a move aimed squarely at besting Amazon in the apparel and sporting goods categories as the battle heats up.  Walmart will now have a presence in a category reeling from consolidation and disruption.


Moosejaw is largely an online seller of outdoor gear and activewear, with 10 brick-and-mortar locations.


The past year has seen outdoor retailers flounder. Sports Authority was liquidated in May 2016 after failing to find a buyer. Eastern Mountain Sports filed for bankruptcy last week and Gander Mountain is said to be near a bankruptcy filing, according to several reports.


Cabelas is being acquired by Bass Pro Shops (although the deal is not yet done) and strong athletic brands including Under Armour are having trouble competing.


There's a big hole in the retail landscape here that provides Walmart entry into a critical category: apparel.


Moosejaw carries more 400 apparel brands in addition to outdoor gear. These existing vendor relationships are important to Walmart as it tries to grow the category. Moosejaw also has a reputation as a quirky brand and leader in social media marketing, keys to winning with Millennials and not a real strength for Walmart...


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Walmart not combining stores and online buying teams


By Marianne Wilson, Chain Store Age 

February 14, 2017


Despite an earlier report to the contrary, Walmart is not combining its online and store buying functions.


Reuters had reported that the discounter was combining its online and store buying operations as it moves to make itself more competitive with Amazon. The report was picked up by numerous media outlets.


Based on information from Walmart, however, the chain is not merging the stores and buying teams. The two will continue to operate as two separate teams. 


Walmart is streamlining the process for store items to appear online. If an item is available for sale in the store, it will now also be approved for the online assortment, and the stores’ buyer will be able to purchase those items for both channels...





Why Warren Buffett Has Dumped 90% of His Walmart Shares

Berkshire Hathaway


Phil Wahba, Fortune

Feb 15, 2017


Warren Buffett believes in America's future but seems more doubtful about that of Walmart and other traditional retailers.


The billionaire's Berkshire Hathaway sold off about $900 million worth of Wal-Mart Stores stock in the last quarter, or about 90% of what he had left after years of paring his investment in the discount retailer. As recently as last summer, Buffett's holdings in Walmart were worth $3 billion, and are now down to less than $100 million. The Oracle of Omaha first invested in the company in 2005.


While Walmart has not seen the same dramatic drops in stock market value in the last two years that have afflicted other retailers, like Macy's (m, +0.18%), its stock is down 19% from a multi-year high in October 2014, reflecting market concerns about its prospects in competing with Walmart has poured billions into its e-commerce efforts, bought, and relaunched its marketplaces site allowing it to garner eight straight quarters of comparable sales growth in the United States, outperforming competitors like Target. (tgt, +0.15%) Those investments have also prompted Walmart to lower its profit forecasts.


Still, Amazon is running away with the e-commerce prize: by some estimates, the online retailer alone generated half of e-commerce's growth over the 2016 holiday season. Walmart, as 55-year old behemoth, can only offer limited growth prospects.


Buffett himself seemed to take a dimmer view of traditional retail's prospects at Berkshire's annual meeting last year when he said of Amazon...