Somyajit Saha —
Our generation might not remember what life was all about before we could make an online purchase. We’ve never really had to travel miles to get what we want. Just by the click of a button, it gets delivered to us.Let’s now compare and contrast the two giants, one an online giant and other an offline giant.
Let us first start with Walmart. The first Walmart store was opened in 1962 by a former soldier and businessman, Sam Walton. After opening the Wal-Mart Discount City store he found tremendous success as a store manager, allowing him to keep a diversity of goods most of them being American made. By the time Sam died, there were 1960 Walmart stores. In his will, Sam left a $100billion to his heirs and today the Walton family is the richest family in the world.
Amazon, as you may know, started in 1994 by Jeff Bezos as Cadabra Ink but quickly changed it to Amazon.com. It went online in the year 1995 and by that time Jeff Bezos knew e-commerce was going to make him a fortune. He first started selling books and within a few weeks, this company started earning $20000 a week and soon declared itself as the world’s largest bookstore. After its success with selling books, Amazon started selling a variety of other products. Since then, Amazon kept expanding and reinventing itself. Today, Jeff Bezos is one of the richest people in the world with a worth of around $72billion.
Now time for some statistics. Walmart employs close to a whopping 2.3million people and has a total of around 11,695 stores in 28 countries. Their revenue for the year 2016 was $485billion and is said to have a net worth of $221billion. In comparison, Amazon only employees around 341,400 people in 17 countries. Their revenue for the year 2016 was $136billion but their net worth is higher than that of Walmart at around $427billion.
Amazon has recently acquired the supermarket chain Whole foods and immediately started giving discounts and offers to counter Walmart but many still believe it is in no position to go head to head in a price war with the king of discount stores Walmart.
The question is can Amazon build a massive chain of physical stores and can it compete with Walmart’s prices? Or can Walmart compete with Amazon’s tech-savvy online stores? Both these giants have and are trying their best to outpace each other but only time will tell who will emerge as the clear winner.