Briefing

Walmart redesigning produce section in an attempt to fend off Amazon

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The company will widen its grocery aisles, making fruit and vegetable bins more visible, put organic food in one place and include new signage, all to help give the aisles an “open market feel.” It has dubbed the revamp “Produce 2.0,” and will roll it out across some 3,000 stores and 800 Supercentres. (The Logic, Bloomberg)

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Talking point: This is the latest sign of escalating brick-and-mortar competition between Amazon and Walmart in the grocery business. Groceries represent an estimated US$655-billion U.S. market that is increasingly going digital. Research firm eMarketer estimates that U.S. food and beverage e-commerce sales will grow 18.2 percent to nearly US$20 billion this year, making it “the fastest-growing product category online.” Shoppers buying fruits and vegetables have also been found to spend 55 per cent more on their trips, according to data tracker Nielsen. That’s becoming more important to Walmart amid Amazon’s increasing expansion into perishable food, having recently eliminated its additional fee for fresh-grocery delivery for its Prime members. Walmart has also launched its own unlimited grocery-delivery service for a US$98 annual fee, undercutting Amazon, while expanding its own “click-and-collect” pickup services.