It's becoming almost comical how often rivals Walmart Stores Inc. (WMT) - Get Walmart Inc. Report and Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) - Get Amazon.com, Inc. Report unveil some sort of major news on the same day, or close to it.
On Thursday, Sept. 7, Walmart opened its 1,000th online grocery pickup location in Seattle. The service, first launched in Denver in 2013, allows customers to order groceries, from a selection of more than 40,000 items, online and pick them up through kiosks in the parking lot, modeled in a similar fashion as a gas station.
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In celebration of the milestone, the big-box retailer said it would give away free Alphabet Inc.'s (GOOGL) - Get Alphabet Inc. Class A Report Google Home voice-activated devices to the first 250 online grocery customers it receives at the new location. On Aug. 23, Walmart announced that it will begin allowing its customers to make purchases through the Google Home, the Google Express app or its website by the end of September.
This brings me to my next point.
When Walmart revealed its partnership with Google, an even-bigger announcement dropped from Amazon the next day. On Aug. 24, Amazon said it was, unsurprisingly, lowering prices at its newly-acquired upscale grocery chain Whole Foods Market Inc. (WFM) , which was a clear play in itself at leveling the playing field with its discount competitor.
On Thursday, following Walmart marking a milestone in online grocery, Amazon announced that it is conducting a search to find a second headquarters location in North America. Its first is in Seattle, where Walmart just so happens to be unveiling its 1,000th grocery pickup location, which is in direct competition with AmazonFresh. The e-commerce behemoth said it will invest more than $5 billion to construct the new headquarters, which is estimated to house some 50,000 high-paying jobs.
And, of course, no one can forget when Walmart's $310 million acquisition of e-commerce apparel retailer Bonobos.com was overshadowed by Amazon's blockbuster $13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods, announced on the same day, June 16.
While Amazon has largely been blamed for upending the retail industry, causing a spike in bankruptcies and distress, Walmart has only rallied. In its most-recent second quarter, Walmart's e-commerce sales climbed 67%.
A company spokeswoman told TheStreet on Thursday that the "majority" of its recent e-commerce growth was "organic through Walmart.com, including online grocery."
Still, Amazon is one tough company to be in competition with. In a research note on Thursday, D.A. Davidson & Co. initiated coverage on Amazon with a "buy" rating with a 12-month price target of $1,300, saying the company's revenue could grow another 18.7% between 2017 and 2020 due to its Whole Foods buy.
"Now that Amazon has fully embraced physical stores, with the August acquisition of Whole Foods, it is poised to take even more market share in the retail sector," D.A. Davidson analysts wrote.
Shares of Walmart rose 0.05% to $80.12 while Amazon stock increased 1.23% to $979.72 a share this afternoon.
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