With today’s press release in mind, it is clear that Wal-Mart has picked up the glove that Amazon threw at it with the purchase of Whole Foods.
Because when it went out and bought Whole Foods, Amazon started to focus on slashing prices across the grocery store segment of its offering, slowly creeping into Wal-Mart's territory by offering ever lower prices for grocery items.
Wal-Mart, just ahead of its annual investor day, repeated its outlook for 2019 whilst adding that it would invest heavily in online sales as well. It has invested $2 billion into its online business already whilst buying a number of popular online retailers since last year (Jet.com being the most famous one of those).
The retailer will open 15 Supercenters and 10 of its Neighborhood Markets in 2019 and at the same time announced that it would open an additional 1,000 grocery pick-up locations across the US, which would mean that it maintains its leading position in the US grocery industry.
CEO Doug McMillon: "We have good momentum in the business, we're executing our strategy and moving with speed to win with the customer, who is more connected than ever and embracing tools that will save them both time and money. We're combining the accessibility of our stores with e-commerce to provide new and exciting ways for customers to shop."
Wal-Mart has increased usage of its 4,700 stores by allowing customers to pick up products ordered online, and make returns in store.
Analysts are saying that the online battle between Wal-Mart and Amazon which is heating up is nothing but good news for US customers
Moody’s retail analyst Mr Charlie O'Shea: "It is clear that Walmart intends to continue to turn up the heat online. We still believe Amazon's lead in online retail is insurmountable, however Walmart continues to widen the gap between itself and all other brick-and-mortar retailers by leveraging its unmatched physical resources, including stores and supply chain, and in the process is providing consumers with a compelling online alternative to Amazon.”