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Case Code: BSTR537
Case Length: 15 Pages 
Period: 2016-2017 
Pub Date: 2018
Teaching Note:Available
Price:Rs.500
Organization :Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (Walmart)
Industry :Retail
Countries : USA
Themes: 
Case Studies  
Business Strategy
Marketing
Finance
Human Resource Management
IT and Systems
Operations
Economics
Leadership & Entrepreneurship

Walmart’s e-Commerce Acquisition Spree: Toward Online Success or Existential Crisis?

This case won Second Prize in the 2018 John Molson MBA International Case Writing Competition, held by John Molson School of Business, Concordia University, Canada.
 
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INTRODUCTION

 
Walmart , the US-based retail giant, had been on an acquisition spree since the summer of 2016, when it bought US-based e-commerce company Jet.com (Jet) for $3.3 billion as a part of its strategy to compete with e-commerce giant Amazon.com (Amazon) . This acquisition trail started as a result of the changing retail e-commerce landscape in the US, especially from 2016. Retail e-commerce sales in the US had experienced 16% year-on-year (Y-O-Y) growth compared to the total retail growth, which was 2% Y-O-Y in Q2 of 2016 . The significant expansion of the e-commerce sector coupled with prospects of its sustained future growth, stirred Walmart to adapt its business model to the digital backdrop.

Since then, Walmart had been acquiring several smaller e-commerce websites like Shoebuy, Moosejaw, Modcloth, and Bonobos, most of which – if not all – catered to young users. Experts believed many such acquisitions could be expected in the near future from the world’s largest physical retailer as a part of its strategy to increase its online operations. “I can tell you we are happy with the moves we are making, and we are happy with the results. It’s about moving fast. It’s about innovating. And it’s a very big market,” said Marc Lore (Lore), co-founder of Jet who became the head of Wal-Mart’s US online operations.

 

 
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