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The Harvard Business Review has a piece provocatively entitled, "Walmart Won’t Stay on Top If Its Strategy Is 'Copy Amazon'."

Citing Amazon's Prime program as an enormous differential advantage, HBR writes, "Walmart can’t compete with this value proposition, at least not yet. Walmart also can’t challenge Amazon’s existing brand equity in access and selection. With approximately 160 million items for sale, Amazon has become the go-to outlet for anything. In comparison, Walmart.com sells 'only' 15 million items — and just 2 million of them are available for the free two-day shipping. It’s no wonder 52% of online shoppers start their search on Amazon, according IHL Group."

The story goes on: "Trying to beat Amazon at its own game is not only likely to fail, it’s also not in Walmart’s best interests. Walmart has perhaps the best physical distribution and retail network in the world. It needs to be competitive on digital channels, sure. But, more important, it should excel at brick-and-mortar. Improving the in-store experience, promoting omnichannel shopping and fulfillment options, and developing in-person service innovations are avenues that leverage its brand equity and core competencies — and they’re approaches that would put Amazon at a disadvantage ... Walmart should invest to advance its strongest competitive advantage: its physical stores."

The piece is instructive, and you can read it here.
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