Walmart’s biggest competition is now Amazon

Emma Johnson, Courier Staff

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Walmart is undoubtedly one of the most well-known shopping center giants in the world. Founded back in 1962, Walmart has grown to be a 24-hour, one stop shop, that millions of people shop at daily. With products and services ranging from food, clothes, tools and even oil changes, Walmart has it all.

The shopping experience of Walmart has always been the common brick and mortar store experience. You enter the store, grab your cart, then wander down the aisles grabbing the products you plan to purchase. From there you make your way back to the front of the store and proceed to try to find an open checkout lane, because we all know it is pretty common for over half of them to be turned off.

This type of shopping experience has been one that many businesses have been using since their openings, and it is one that consumers worldwide are using to. However, the rise of Amazon has even the largest supercenter giant, which is making Walmart, rethink their strategy.

A recent article by Yahoo Finance has announced that Walmart plans to kill off the shopping creation that it is most known for, the huge supercenter with everything under one roof. Online shopping has taken off and Walmart plans to jump on the bandwagon.

In the U.S alone, Walmart currently has over 3,500 locations, but coming up in 2019 Walmart plans to only open 10 more supercenters. In the past three years, Walmart has gradually opened less and less supercenters each year. This is all due to their increased focus on the online shopping world.

Along with the move to a more online shopping base, many of us have noticed changes inside their stores as well. In the past two years, self-checkouts have begun entering Walmart’s all throughout the United States. The concern that self-checkouts will one day take cashiers jobs has always been a hushed conversation, but it is hard to argue that the self-checkouts definitely make paying much easier and faster.

Along with self-checkouts, Walmart is also releasing a new grocery pickup option in 3,100 of their locations. Grocery pickup is a way for customers to order and pay online, then merely park in a designated spot at a Walmart, and a clerk will deliver the groceries and load them into your vehicle. This free service is already available at almost 2,000 of their locations and soon to spread to the rest.

Another service you may start seeing in many Walmart’s is their locker pickup service. This is a way for people to pick up their online orders if they choose to not have them delivered straight to their house. Online orders can be sent to the store and placed in lockers, the customers get the locker number and combination when they placed their online order and are then able to go get their package out of the locker at the store.

Walmart has always been a leader when it comes to the supercenter shopping industry, and all of these new services are added ways for Walmart to keep trying to stay on top. There is no doubt that Amazon is giving Walmart a run for its money, so it is definitely expected to see Walmart start to slowly shift to the online shopping market. The news release that Walmart is only planning to open 10 stores in the upcoming year is a shocking one, but it is easy to understand that it is simply a step in their online transition.

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