- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is eying the purchase of online retail upstart Jet.com, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. 

“A deal would give Wal-Mart’s e-commerce efforts a much-needed jolt as it seeks to grow beyond its brick-and-mortar storefronts with speedy home delivery from a network of massive suburban warehouses,” the Journal explained, seeing the planned purchase as a play to better compete against e-commerce giant Amazon.com.

“Overtaken by Amazon by market capitalization a year ago, Wal-Mart has scrambled to keep pace with its Seattle online rival, closing stores and building a supply chain to ferry merchandise to customers more quickly,” reported the Journal.

Amazon has thus far proven an elusive competitor for the loyalty of upper middle-class Americans — who are not as price-sensitive as Americans in lower income brackets — Time magazine reported back in April. 

“Amazon’s main sales pitch nowadays is based on ease and convenience — one-click shopping, no need to worry about shipping for Prime members, etc. — rather than rock-bottom prices,” said Time. “Based on rising Amazon Prime numbers, the pitch is working quite well.”

Acquiring Jet.com could aid the Arkansas-based retailer’s ability to directly compete with Amazon’s sophisticated supply chain. “Wal-Mart would gain Jet’s sophisticated pricing software, as well as warehouses and valuable customer data,” noted the Journal.

While there’s no solid dollar figure yet for the prospective sale, the Journal noted that “a person familiar with the matter said Jet could be valued at up to $3 billion in private markets.”

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