You may not realize it, but there is a battle for you and your family you might not know about.
No, it’s not about politics and the Republicans vs the Democrats – I know it seems as though EVERYTHING has to be political….but this is not.
It’s not even something as critical as Cardinals vs Cubs – and that’s plenty more important this time of year than just politics.
This is a battle for your wallet and the $3.6 trillion that will be spent this year on stuff. Shoes, frozen pizza, clothes, spare bicycle parts (that’s me) or tickets to this month’s favorite county-western rock-a-billy concert (not me). But that’s what we spend – about $3.6 trillion and WalMart and Amazon are in a winner-take-all cage match to see who comes out on top.
When my daughter said she was going off to college to study economics, I told her to write a paper entitled “The Fall of WalMart.” I mean, who could have predicted the downfall of Sears? I knew WalMart was going to develop a strong competitor 10-20 years ago, so did plenty of others, but who knew it would be something called “Amazon?”
Now Amazon is the king of the Internet, but WalMart is still the Big Bully on the Block.
• More people go to walMart in a week than watch the Super Bowl each year.
• WalMarts 4,600-plus stores occupy 700-million square feet.
• WalMart has 1.4-plus million employees in the U.S. – that’s more than the population of Rhode Island.
A lot of people I know say they don’t shop WalMart – it’s almost a protest kind of thing – but, hey, somebody is spending their money there. WalMart has more than $405 billion in revenue.
But, as noted on my favorite economics podcast “The Indicator” last week, WalMart and Amazon have been duking it out for the past several months in an effort to get the most from your wallet.
Walmart is still the king of those shoppers around 50-years of age, Amazon, which bought Whole Foods last year in an effort to get into your refrigerator and grocery shopping, is the shopping spot on the Internet for a younger audience with an average age of 37.
In the latest salvo, WalMart is going after a younger audience by offering free delivery from WalMart.com and Amazon fired a shot back at them by going after low income shoppers by extending its Prime membership free to those on Medicaid.
Amazon realizes they have a Prime membership in half the U.S. households with an Internet connection, but they are looking at lower income shoppers in order to grow.
WalMart, on the other hand, is going after wealthier shoppers and ramping up efforts to better compete with Amazon online.
One change in our country in recent decades is that consumer habits shift rapidly. People from all economic levels have cell phones and companies have demonstrated they are willing to work together – such as Amazon and United Parcel Service – to team up for success.
Where this battle for where you buy your stuff is on-going and getting more interesting each week.