Walmart Canada’s digital channel takes on Amazon

(Author : Deena M. Amato-McCoy)
While Amazon expands its physical presence, Walmart Canada is taking its own swipe at the online giant — by moving in on its turf. 

Eager to retain shoppers — and attract new ones — Walmart Canada is bolstering its online services. First, the retailing giant will spend the next two months expanding the product assortment available on its Walmart.ca website by opening it up to third-party marketplace sellers. Creating what it calls an “endless aisle” concept, the retailer is giving shoppers access to more merchandise from outside brands and small businesses, according to the Financial Post.
In the report, Walmart Canada CEO Lee Tappenden said, “We will double the SKUs we have online at the launch date, and by early next year we will have millions of SKUs online.”
The retailer is supplementing this service by launching a “click-and-collect” program that will enable shoppers to pick up their online purchases at one of 100 dedicated Walmart Canada locations. The retailer plans to roll out the service to all 410 stores by Christmas, according to Global News. Both services are in retaliation to Amazon’s aggressive moves to become an offline player. And the online giant’s efforts are across the board.
The company giant launched Amazon Go last year, a checkout-free convenience store, as well as two AmazonFresh Pickup grocery stores in Seattle. It also continues to bolster its Amazon Books division, which currently features six locations, and has plans to open additional locations this year. Amazon’s biggest blow however, was its announcement to purchase Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion. Besides extending its physical store footprint even further, this move also muscles in on Walmart’s grocery business. In fact, the category accounts for about half of the chain’s approximately $25.5 billion in annual sales in Canada, Financial Post reported.
Despite Amazon’s gains, Walmart continues to fight back. Its strategy: to continue bolstering online offerings. For example, the retailer acquired jet.com in September, followed by Shoebuy in December. In February, it acquired outdoor apparel retailer Moosejaw, followed by ModCloth in March. Earlier in June, the chain announced it would purchase Bonobos for $310 million in cash.