Wal-Mart customers head for the exit while Amazon picks up steam

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I have written on several occasions about my belief that bricks and mortar retailing is in bigger trouble than we know.  Simply put, on line retailers like Amazon are growing at the expense of bricks and mortar retailers.

According to a piece by Douglas McIntyre in Daily Finance, Wal-Mart is hemorrhaging customers.  Here is how he puts it:

A confidential memo obtained by Bloomberg reveals some big concerns at Walmart (WMT) — its U.S. sales, particularly at stores open at least a year, are in big trouble. "Those Wal-Mart stores had 82.8 million fewer visits through the first five months of the company's fiscal year than a year earlier, says the memo," Bloomberg reports.

Wal-Mart’s sales have been flat.  That is certainly not the story at Amazon.  According to a July 28, 2011 Retailing Today article, entitled “Walmart on Amazon alert as sales explode at online rival,” Amazon’s unique visitors are up three times those of Walmart.com.  That’s not all; the same article points out that Amazon had an incredible 51% increase in sales during the second quarter. 

As the article puts it: “The sales growth was broad based across geographies and categories, with worldwide electronics and other general merchandise sales growing the fastest at 69… Worldwide sales in the media category grew 27%…”

Wal-Mart will have to reverse these trends if it is to be able to maintain its brick and mortar infrastructure.  If they don’t, look for store downsizings, closings and smaller new store footprints.  As to Amazon, they just have to keep doing whatever they have been doing.



3 thoughts

  1. There’s just something about the “Wal-Mart” Experience” that makes your entire body cringe when you walk through their doors. All you can think about is, “how fast can I get what I need and get out of here”. You just don’t want to engage with anyone while you’re there…keep your head down and get to your destination…”gotta get out of here”. I whole-heartedly admit that I’m in a bad mood the entire time I’m in their store, with one exception – I soooo want to find the next “People of Wal-Mart” candidate…now that might make the whole experience worth it!

  2. People are staying away from Walmart because of their culture not their goods.
    The wired generation is much more picky about how something is sold.

  3. Walmart is the worst retailer ever!
    Products are over-priced garbage(those under their lable/ made for them), and brand name products are pennies less than other supermarkets.
    Their produce, meats, bakery, etc. is not fit for the homeless.
    Their emplyees are pathethic, not trained, paid lowest wages, terrible medical ins.and only 57% of them have any.
    Last but not least, their customers are treated as bad as the employees.

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