AMZN vs. WMT Weekly: Retailers on the move

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We’re all familiar with that “No Stopping, Standing, Parking” sign that’s frequently found in high-traffic areas and aims to keep motorists – and more broadly, commerce – moving. Although concise in its message, the underlying cause for the existence of the sign is the recognition that even a single obstacle – for example, a stopped car – in the right place can cause serious ripple effects and far-reaching ramifications. the real source of the problem.

No stopping sign

It was with this same reality and a mindset on the move that Amazon and Walmart presented a range of plans this week that, while disparate in nature, all shared the same underlying theme: keeping people and products.

To go for a walk

Amazon’s Just Walk Out cashierless shopping system marked a major step in its efforts to scale technology to handle larger orders and more complicated shopping transactions. The latest rollout of the time-saving technology was its unveiling at a second Whole Foods store in Washington, DC this week. Compared to grabbing a sandwich, a soda, and a bag of chips from a convenience store, the process of selecting an entire grocery list in a store with multiple aisles, departments, and up to 25,000 SKU is on a completely different level.

“Just Walk Out Shopping Technology automatically detects when products are removed from or returned to shelves and tracks them in a virtual shopping cart,” said an announcement from Amazon about the technology allowing shoppers to skip the register. and further reduce friction. of their food shopping. “When you’ve finished shopping, you can skip the line. Later, we’ll send you a receipt and charge your Amazon account,” the retailer’s website says, assuring customers that viewing, sensing technology and payment works whether you buy alone or in a group.

While the company hasn’t revealed specific plans as to how and when to roll out Just Walk Out to its other 500 Whole Foods stores, it’s safe to say it won’t be stopping at two.

course more

While Amazon was busy keeping grocery shoppers moving, Walmart unveiled its latest plan to keep its employees moving and in top shape by unveiling the Walton Family Whole Health & Fitness initiative as the centerpiece of its new campus. business in Arkansas.

Although not expected to open until late next year, the multidisciplinary facility will include a mix of modalities aimed at meeting the holistic mind, body and spirit needs of its staff. , including a daycare center that can accommodate 500 children and the Walton Life Fitness Center.

“Over the years, Walmart has continued to evolve its benefits to ensure we support all aspects of our associates’ lives – inside and outside of work,” wrote Dan Bartlett, vice president. -executive chairman of Walmart’s business in a blog post, which touted creativity. and the innovation behind this “holistic approach to supporting associates and their families”.

Away from headquarters, Walmart also continued its healthcare ambitions this week as it moved forward with plans to open at least five new healthcare centers in Florida, starting with a Jacksonville location that opened. this week.

“Two years after launching Walmart Health, we continue to evolve and grow to make healthcare even more accessible to the communities we serve,” said Dr. David Carmouche, senior vice president of omnichannel care offerings. at Walmart, in a company press release. , who noted that there is currently only one primary care physician for every 1,380 Florida residents.

come drive with me

Although the US economy has been said to “move by truck”, it also gets a big helping hand from wages earned by employees. At this point, Walmart combined the two concepts this week when it announced it was raising starting salaries for truck drivers and increasing salaries for about 12,000 of its on-the-road employees.

“Walmart drivers can now earn up to $110,000 in their first year with the company. And that’s just the start — drivers who have been with Walmart longer can earn even more, depending on factors like seniority and location,” the company blog reads.

The eye-catching ad is, of course, aimed at attracting and retaining the people it needs to supply its 210 distribution centers and 5,000 national stores. It also comes at a time of intense industry-wide competition for skilled drivers, as well as innovations such as driverless trucks to alleviate a factory-to-last-mile problem that affects all retailers, including Amazon.

take me to the moon

Finally, we turn to the final frontier — space — where Amazon continues to push the non-commercial boundaries of its consumer ecosystem by announcing a long-term plan this week involving rocket launches and satellites needed to bring service. Affordable high-speed internet to underserved communities.

In a blog post outlining the update to what it calls “Project Kuiper,” the $1.6 trillion Seattle-based e-commerce leader revealed a roadmap that will use Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites to bring more people online.

“We are delighted to announce that we have secured up to 83 launches from three commercial space companies – Arianespace, Blue Origin and United Launch Alliance (ULA) – to provide heavy lift capability for the program,” the company said. , before revealing the true scope and scale of its initiatives in space.

“These agreements mean that we have sufficient capacity to carry the majority of the 3,236 satellites that make up our constellation of satellites into space,” Amazon said.

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On: Patient portals have become a must-have for providers, so much so that 61% of patients interested in using the tools say they would choose a provider that offers one. For Accessing Healthcare: Easing Digital Frictions In The Patient Journey, a collaboration between PYMNTS and Experian Health, PYMNTS surveyed 2,333 consumers to learn how healthcare providers can ease digital pain points to improve care and satisfaction. patients.

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