Walmart is winning online but struggling with fulfilment

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Walmart in the United States had a hugely successful Cyber Weekend with a growth in popularity and purchases from the retail giant online during the retail feeding frenzy after Thanksgiving.

But such was demand that there was something of a backlog and delays in delivery but the scale of the problem is not known. Walmart relies on UPS, FedEx and the USPS for its fulfilment in the USA.

It was, however, significant enough to elicit a statement from Walmart. “The week of Thanksgiving is an incredibly busy time for all of retail. With massive volume going through our system, there were some orders that took extra time, much like other major eCommerce sites,” Walmart spokeswoman Danit Marquardt said. But all is now under control, it seems. “A vast majority of orders are shipping on time now,” she added.

Two things are notable about this story. Firstly, it’s encourgaing to see that in the US, Amazon has a competitor online. It is still, after all, the biggest retailer in the world. Over in the UK, it would be interesting to see the likes of Tesco or Asda assume a similar mantle. Walmart also allows third party sellers to trade on its platform.

Secondly, it highlights the phenomenal powers of Amazon fulfilment and acts as a reminder that it’s not always as easy as it looks to keep pace with consumer expectations, especially at peak times.

2 Responses

  1. It will never be easy now for any company no matter how big to compete with Amazon. It has been allowed to pinpoint a market and creep in testing the water then undercut and out price every competitor till they crush them. Once that is sorted they then creep the prices up. Eventually they will own everything and choice will be gone. But every company still forms an orderly queue to grab the Amazon dollar or pound without any thought of it only being temporary. They are now touting for your parcels for online sellers as they were not happy dumping Royal Mail in it by setting up their own delivery companies they now wish to grab Royal Mails remaining users.

  2. In the UK Walmart trades under the “Asda” brand name, don’t think it’s particularly prospering. From today’s newspaper headlines: “More than 800 Asda store staff face pay cut or redundancy. The proposed cost-cutting measures are reportedly aimed at regaining ground lost to budget supermarkets Aldi and Lidl … Thousands more employees could also be hit by a reduction in hours.”.

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