In this file:
· Walmart is beating Amazon in a business worth $35 billion
… This hybrid of online and physical shopping is proving popular… A new report from Cowen & Co. estimates that curbside grocery pickup will account for $35 billion in sales in the U.S. by 2020 as it is embraced by a greater proportion of consumers… Walmart Inc.’s grocery pickup program is available at about 2,100 stores and will be in 3,100 stores by the end of the fiscal year…
· Exclusive: Mexico's Walmart pressures suppliers on pricing, forcing some to ditch Amazon
Walmart’s Mexico unit has penalized food companies supplying groceries to rival Amazon, pressure that has forced some to pull their products from the world’s largest online retailer…
· Walmart's annual product pitchfest aims to source U.S.-made goods
… Walmart is putting the word out for its sixth Open Call event, which now runs for two days, June 18 and 19, at the company’s headquarters in Arkansas. The retailer will accept applications through April 30 for any company whose products are made, sourced or grown in the United States…
Walmart is beating Amazon in a business worth $35 billion
By Sarah Halzack, Bloomberg
via The Seattle Times - April 7, 2019
On a number of fronts in online shopping, Amazon.com‘s strategy is clear and brutally effective. It is gunning for more dollars in high-margin categories such as home goods with a growing catalog of private-label items. It’s offering two-hour delivery in some markets, a speedy service few retailers are in position to match. And its popular, voice-activated Alexa devices and software have put it at the center of the emerging trend of shopping via virtual assistants.
There is one important area, though, where Amazon’s strategy looks much fuzzier: Click-and-collect. This hybrid of online and physical shopping is proving popular, and it could potentially prove a costly mistake for Amazon that it hasn’t moved more quickly to get a piece of the action.
A new report from Cowen & Co. estimates that curbside grocery pickup will account for $35 billion in sales in the U.S. by 2020 as it is embraced by a greater proportion of consumers.
This is a model that’s well-suited for traditional retailers. They are in a good position to scale up quickly, and they are doing just that. Target Corp.’s Drive Up service is offered at about 1,000 stores and will be in all stores by the end of 2019. Walmart Inc.’s grocery pickup program is available at about 2,100 stores and will be in 3,100 stores by the end of the fiscal year. (Both retailers have additional click-and-collect programs that allow customers to pick up online orders at a counter in the store.)
Both Walmart and Target say their net promoter scores – a key measure of customer satisfaction – are especially high for curbside services. And the click-and collect push is making a difference. Cowen analysts estimate that Walmart grocery pickup is contributing significantly to the retailer’s overall U.S. comparable sales growth. They forecast Walmart’s U.S. comparable sales will increase 2.8 percent for the current fiscal year from the prior year, and that grocery pickup will account for between 0.9 and 1.3 percentage points.
It’s not that Amazon is sitting idly by when it comes to this digital-physical shopping mashup. It has two locations of AmazonFresh Pickup in Seattle, a drive-up spot for retrieving groceries. Its Whole Foods Market chain has rolled out click-and-collect services in 22 cities. And beyond the grocery segment, Amazon has a limited number of pickup centers and lockers. It all adds up to a smattering of tentative moves – not a cohesive strategy that can ramp up quickly nationwide...
Exclusive: Mexico's Walmart pressures suppliers on pricing, forcing some to ditch Amazon
Daina Beth Solomon, Reuters
April 8, 2019
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Walmart’s Mexico unit has penalized food companies supplying groceries to rival Amazon, pressure that has forced some to pull their products from the world’s largest online retailer, four people familiar with the matter said.
The tough tactics come as the two giants battle for supremacy in one of their most important foreign markets, one that Walmart currently dominates.
Walmart last year demanded discounts from food businesses whose products it found priced lower on the Mexican website of Amazon.com Inc, the people said, even though suppliers had no say in the Seattle retailer’s decision to undercut Walmart on price.
Two suppliers told Reuters they moved swiftly to pull their brands from Amazon, wary of jeopardizing their relationship with Walmart de Mexico. The companies, both of which sell common pantry goods, said Walmart accounts for more than half their supermarket sales in Mexico.
Walmart would not discuss its competition with Amazon in Mexico or the allegations made by suppliers. It told Reuters it does not dictate with whom vendors can do business. But it acknowledged it always presses for the lowest prices, particularly if competitors are giving shoppers a better deal.
“We could never tell anybody that they can’t sell to someone else,” Ignacio Caride, Walmart Mexico’s e-commerce head, told Reuters.
“If we think there’s an opportunity to lower our prices, because we see better prices at other retailers, we’re going to negotiate for that access,” he said.
The company said in a statement that it aims to offer the lowest possible prices to benefit consumers, and doesn’t subsidize losses for some products with revenues from others...
Walmart's annual product pitchfest aims to source U.S.-made goods
Local makers of Drymate Mats now sell seven products to Walmart.
By Jackie Crosby, Star Tribune (MN)
April 7, 2019
The first time the father-son team of Nick and Nicholas Sovell went to Bentonville, Ark., they were part of a select group of entrepreneurs and small-business owners hoping to land deals with Walmart.
The men, whose Savage-based company manufactures a special absorbent and waterproof mat, had been invited to participate in the retail behemoth’s first pitchfest for American-made products, known as Open Call, in 2014.
“We drove down because we had so many samples to sell,” said son Nicholas Sovell, executive vice president of RPM Inc. “We got down there and we were running back and forth between rooms with these big ugly suitcases.”
RPM had been selling a mat for outdoor grills to Walmart since 2006, but the men left the one-day Open Call event with deals to produce a cargo liner, dish-drying mat and a litter box pad. Today they’ve got seven products on store shelves and are gunning for more.
Walmart is putting the word out for its sixth Open Call event, which now runs for two days, June 18 and 19, at the company’s headquarters in Arkansas. The retailer will accept applications through April 30 for any company whose products are made, sourced or grown in the United States.
Prospective suppliers will have 30 minutes to stand in a 6-foot by 10-foot room and make a product pitch to a representative of the largest company on the planet. Products could wind up in Walmart stores, Sam’s Clubs or on Walmart.com.
“The real goal is to be invited,” said Nick Sovell, 72, a self-described serial entrepreneur who also invented the Key-Rock. He bought marketing rights for the surface protector pad his company now sells under the Drymate Mat brand in 1997.
“If they give you a blue ticket, it means they like you and picked your product,” he said of the Open Call selection process. “Then you need to prove to them you have the manufacturing capability and financial backing to supply them with the product you’ve presented.”
The Open Call event is tied to a pledge Walmart made in 2013 to purchase $250 billion of American-made products over the next decade. The retailer estimated the move would create 1 million new U.S. jobs, including 250,000 in manufacturing and a ripple of 750,000 indirect jobs to support and service the products.
Company spokeswoman Tiffany Wilson...