Grocery competition is no joke, especially since retailers are battling to make the shopping experience as frictionless as possible. Walmart and Amazon have consistently featured in the news as combative forces, duking it out for the top spot. As Amazon debuted its Amazon Go Grocery format only yesterday, as we reported on our sister site, AndNowUKnow, Walmart too was making headlines.
The retail giant announced both the launch of a new service, Walmart Fulfillment Services, and a consolidation of its online and store product-buying teams. Both moves radically shake up Walmart’s relationship with its suppliers.
With the addition of Walmart Fulfillment Centers, a service that allows third-party vendors to hire the retailer to store, pack, and ship items for customers, CNBC noted that the new operation could better position Walmart to compete against Amazon. These third-party vendors used to have to hire another third-party operator to handle the fulfillment of orders; now, they simply turn to Walmart.
Sellers will also have the added benefit of driving up profitability, since the low-cost service takes care of storing and shipping goods—a costly enterprise for most suppliers.
In addition to this, Walmart announced another e-commerce change. In a company memo, it revealed that it would be combining its buyer teams for both the website and brick and mortar. Buyers will now be split into merchandising categories, such as food, and they will buy items in that category regardless of where they’re sold.
Will these changes immediately affect Walmart's e-commerce plan? Deli Market News will continue to report the latest in the ever-changing retail sector.