Walmart Retail Business Survives Amid Amazon’s Domination on Online Shopping

Amazon - Walmart Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) was founded in 1994, during a time when Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) was on its path to becoming the largest retailer in America.

As the broadband era emerged in the early 2000s, concerns grew that Amazon would dominate every major retailer in the country. Indeed, Sears, Kmart, and JCPenney suffered significant setbacks. Walmart was predicted to follow suit.

However, Walmart defied these expectations. It expanded its store footprint to over 4,500 locations, ensuring that 90% of the U.S. population lived within 10 miles of a Walmart store.


Amazon – Walmart

The country’s largest retailer became nearly ubiquitous. According to Statista, also became the second largest retail e-commerce site in the United States, trailing only Amazon. This is the state with the most Walmarts.

Walmart took several strategic steps to compete with Amazon. It opened pharmacies and became the largest grocery provider in the country.

Additionally, it established a system where customers could shop online and pick up their orders at a Walmart store, capitalizing on its extensive physical network—something Amazon could not easily replicate.

Walmart’s latest earnings should dispel concerns about Amazon overshadowing it. Walmart’s revenue increased by 6% to $161.5 billion, and per-share earnings rose by 200% to $0.63.

Amazon – Walmart

Perhaps the most impressive figure was the 21% increase in global e-commerce revenue, “led by store-fulfilled pickup & delivery and marketplace.” The store pickup strategy had proven successful.

In the most recent quarter, Amazon also performed well. Revenue rose by 13% to $132 billion, and earnings increased from $0.31 per share to $0.98. However, Amazon’s significant AWS cloud business contributed heavily to these earnings.

Amazon’s total operating income for the period was $15.3 billion, with AWS accounting for $9.4 billion of that. In this context, Amazon’s retail business appears less impressive.

Amazon did not overpower Walmart. And, without AWS, the competition between the two might be considered evenly matched today.

Nate O'Hara
Nathan is a seasoned commerce writer with a passion for unraveling the intricacies of the business world and distilling them into engaging narratives. During his academic journey, he delved deep into subjects like economics, marketing, and entrepreneurship, honing his analytical skills and developing a keen understanding of market dynamics.