Last, consider Wal-Mart Stores, Inc (NYSE:WMT) .
In 2011, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) launched @Walmart Labs — the retailers social media, mobile app, and e-commerce engine. As CEO Michael Duke said, Wal-Mart’s new priority is digital and online spaces. According to Duke, the lab is “hiring 100’s of incredibly talented people in Silicon Valley and around the world. We’re playing to win.”
Part of the Lab’s goal is to fend off Amazon, which has been offering products like pet food, cereal, and soap to compete against the traditional retailer. Additionally, e-commerce king Amazon offers consumers the ability to sign up to regularly receive shipments of selected items. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) anticipates that its lab will recapture customers who have shifted to Amazon, while generating additional online sales.
To date, the investment seems to be working. Neile Ahe, president and CEO of Wal-Mart’s e-commerce division, recently reported that “revenue growth is accelerating and ahead of our plans. During the fourth quarter, we took share in all of our key markets.” The goal: $9 billion in global e-commerce sales, up from $4.9 billion in 2011. Remarkably, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) recorded an 8.3% increase in net income and a 5% increase in sales in the 2012 fiscal year. It is ready for battle.
While a drought may temporarily linger for some companies, a rich oasis may be within sight. Each of the aforementioned firms’ fresh, technological strategies, coupled with a healthy free cash flow, is probably causing people like Jeff Bezos and other online retailers to shudder.
The article Keep Your Eyes Peeled: 3 Retailers Making Moves originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Brendan Marasco.
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