2024.05.19 12:01
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Walmart Not Getting Crushed By Amazon

Walmart's latest earnings show that it is not being crushed by Amazon. Walmart's revenue rose 6% to $161.5 billion and its e-commerce revenue was up 21% globally. Walmart's store pick-up strategy and physical presence have helped it compete with Amazon. Amazon's retail business is not as impressive without its AWS cloud business. Overall, the competition between Walmart and Amazon is tied.

Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) was founded in 1994, and at the same time, Walmart (NYSE: WMT) was on its way to becoming the largest retailer in America. As the broadband era was ushered in during the early 2000s, the fear began to emerge that Amazon would trample every large retailer in America. Indeed, Sears and Walmart were severely damaged. So was KMart. So was JC Penney. Walmart was supposed to be next.

Walmart was never next. It grew its store footprint to over 4,500. Eventually, 90% of the US population was within 10 miles of a Walmart location. The country’s largest retailer became virtually ubiquitous. According to Statista, Walmart.com also became the second largest retail e-commerce site in the US, behind only Amazon. This is the state with the most Walmarts.

Walmart did several other things to flank Amazon. It opened pharmacies and became the largest grocery provider in the country. It set up a system where people could shop online and pick up their orders at a Walmart store. In short, it did several things Amazon could not do or not do well because Walmart had such a large physical system.

Walmart’s latest earnings should put to rest the Amazon issue. Walmart’s revenue rose 6% to $161.5 billion, and EPS rose 200% to $.63. Perhaps the most impressive number was that e-commerce revenue was up 21% globally, “ led by store-fulfilled pickup & delivery and marketplace.” The store pick-up strategy had worked.

In the most recent quarter, Amazon did well. Revenue rose 13% to $132 billion. EPS rose from $.31 to $.98. However, Amazon’s huge AWS cloud business carried much of the earning load. Amazon’s total operating income in the period was $15.3 billion.AWS provided $9.4 billion of that. In that light, Amazon’s retail business is not impressive.

Amazon didn’t crush Walmart. And, without AWS, today’s competition may be tied.

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