Wal-Mart Wants It All

Discussion
Dec 01, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson


The world’s largest retailer also wants to be the biggest thing in the virtual world.


Rob Gallo of Retail Forward told the Star-Ledger, “For as big as they (Wal-Mart) are, they’re still fairly under the radar as far as online sites go.”


That appears to be changing, however, as walmart.com is second only to Amazon in the number of U.S. visitors it has had to its site since February, according to Hitwise.


John Fleming, chief executive, walmart.com said, “We really try to complement the stores. We’re not just trying to do the same thing they do, because aside from the Northeast,
most people are pretty accessible to a Wal-Mart store.”


Moderator’s Comment: What are your thoughts on Wal-Mart’s approach to the Internet?


We know the numbers say the site is doing well but, as a consumer, we have been underwhelmed by walmart.com.


Our recommendation would be for Wal-Mart to look to develop tighter integration between the real and virtual worlds.


For example, walmart.com customers should have the choice of having orders shipped or picking them up at a local store. Perhaps that way, the largest seller
of pet food in the country could sell some of its more popular products online. Right now, for example, you can’t buy Purina Puppy Chow online.
[George
Anderson – Moderator
]

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