Friday headline roundup

More Than Half of Wal-Mart’s Hourly Workers Make Less Than $25,000 (BloombergBusinessweek, 10/23/2013)

“Now Wal-Mart has provided some new and useful information: More than 475,000 of its 1 million hourly store employees earn at least $25,000 a year for full-time work. This figure comes from Bill Simon, the president and chief executive officer of Walmart U.S., who presented (PDF) it at Goldman Sachs’s Global Retailing Conference last month. The statistic, which was listed under the heading “Great job opportunities,” means as many as 525,000 full-time hourly employees earn less than $25,000 a year.”

To catch up, Wal-Mart moves to Amazon turf (New York Times, 10/20/2013)

“The company has had a small presence near Silicon Valley for more than a decade, but until recently, engineers in the area barely knew it existed. It signed a lease three years ago for the San Bruno office, north of the valley — and across the street from YouTube — and is opening another this fall in Sunnyvale, home of Yahoo, in the heart of the valley. It is trying hard to prove it is one of the cool kids.”

 

Why Walmart’s e-commerce efforts will almost certainly fail (Slate, 10/22/2013)

“The idea is that current stores can serve as forward operating bases for the physical last mile of retail. Walmart already has jumping-off points for delivery that are integrated into the global supply chain and are much closer to a customer’s house than a typical Amazon fulfillment center. Add enough technologists to build a truly excellent website, and the entire firm should be able to use its existing infrastructure to be a real e-commerce competitor. That’s the theory, at any rate. But if that theory were right, shouldn’t Barnes & Noble have been able to use its extensive network of forward-deployed books to catch Amazon in the online book retail game? Shouldn’t BestBuy.com have become the place to order electronics on the Internet? Can it be that none of the competitors Amazon’s already faced down had the same plan that Walmart is now trying to execute?”

 

Takeaways from Walmart’s AnalystFest 2013, Part 1 & Part 2 (WMTS?, 10/21/2013 & 10/22/2013)

“If acting with integrity has always been the Walmart way, what explains that whole thing where Chairman Rob Walton, former CEO (and current director) Lee Scott, and current CEO Mike Duke were aware of bribery allegations yet allegedly stymied an internal investigation into the allegations?”

 

What do you think?