Magazine Article | April 22, 2013

The Death Of The Channel-Purist Retailer

May 2013 Integrated Solutions For Retailers

By Matt Pillar, editor in chief

Walmart set the pundits buzzing last quarter when Global eCommerce President and CEO Neil Ashe spoke openly about its aggressive e-commerce plans, which include a test of same-day fulfillment of online orders at the company’s brick-and-mortar locations.

It’s a concept that Amazon, Walmart’s largest online competitor, has played with as well, albeit without the infrastructure to roll the service out on a large scale and without the seamless brand experience consumers are looking for. Amazon has had to tap companies with brickand- mortar store networks on the shoulder for help, namely Staples and Radio Shack. That amounts to cross-channel “co-opetition,” if you will, underscoring the relevance of the physical retail plant but creating confusion for the consumer and an opportunity for two of Amazon’s biggest competitors to score new customers.