retail news in context, analysis with attitude

•  CNN has a story about how Walmart is ramping up its marketplace game, "rapidly expanding the number of third-party sellers on its site.

"Over the past year, it's been adding to its network of merchants. It recently opened up its platform to sellers outside the United States for the first time and is trying to lure even more through incentives like zero commission fees for 30 days."

The story notes that "Walmart's marketplace has been around since 2009, but only in recent years did it become a key priority for the company as it battles Amazon online. E-commerce makes up less than 10% of sales at Walmart, but it's growing rapidly as Walmart shifts from its brick-and-mortar roots to reach customers online."

However, "Walmart has a long way to go to catch up to Amazon, which has more than 1.9 million active third-party sellers. Walmart won't disclose figures, but according to e-commerce data firm Marketplace Pulse, it had fewer than 7,000 sellers at the beginning of 2017. Since then, Walmart has added around 80,000 merchants."