This ain’t your grandpa’s Walmart.
Walmart’s ongoing battle with Amazon for the retail crown is expanding well beyond retail, and it’s forcing one of the largest companies in the world to reexamine its DNA. In the last six months alone, Walmart has partnered with scores of tech firms to better compete with Amazon and make progress in markets that may become pivotal years down the line. It’s also begun rethinking how it views itself: a traditional big-box retail giant that now hopes it can be nimble enough to compete with one of technology’s most powerful players.
Following its purchase of Jet.com to advance its e-commerce efforts in 2016, Walmart has starting accelerating its shift from retail giant to tech-focused partner. Those deals now include a partnership with Alphabet’s Waymo for rides to and from stores; Japan’s Rakuten for Kobo e-readers; and Uber, Lyft, and Postmates for grocery delivery.
Walmart is partnering with tech companies left and right
In July, Walmart announced that it’s switched its entire cloud operation to Microsoft Azure and Office 365, in addition to working with the company on artificial intelligence projects in a new five-year deal. (Microsoft is Amazon’s primary competitor in the cloud computing (to read more of this story, click here)