Amazon and Walmart are locked in an epic battle for the future of retail. As the former moves into the physical world with bookstores and its purchase of Whole Foods, the latter builds a sprawling omnichannel ecosystem. Essential Retail brings you five ways in which the old timer is taking the fight to the online behemoth

Walmart is going all in on start-up acquisitions, Marc Lore, president and CEO of Walmart.com, joined Walmart when the retailer snapped up his venture, Jet.com for $3 billion. It was the company’s most significant recent acquisition, giving it access to a platform that appeals to younger, urban-based shoppers. In non-food, Walmart has also made a number of acquisitions – Bonobos, ModCloth, ShoeBuy and Moosejaw – providing access to key categories where there is a long tail of products. 

The end game here is to instill a start-up culture at Walmart. “While an established company will always be different than a start-up in terms of size and style, it can still structure itself to behave more like a start-up. I think it ultimately comes down to two elements: taking risks and moving fast,” Lore said in a recent LinkedIn post.

“While most established companies are the result of a moonshot that caught fire, over time they can become places where employees are much more likely to take safe bets than bold ones. This is a tragedy, because an established company is actually a better place to take a shot than a start-up is, since it has a wider portfolio and can weather a failure more easily.”

Come back to Essential Retail later this week to read the remaining parts in the series:

1) One online shopping mall to rule them all

3.) Creating an ecosystem of value for customers

4.) Mobile payments

5.) Leveraging its store network