New thoughts on the Walmart/Amazon debate

Walmart is stupid to take on head-to-head in too many areas, according to Wharton marketing professor Stephen Hoch who, along with other members of academia and one retail futurist, weigh in on the competitive situation that promises to impact the entire retail industry.

According to Hoch, “Walmart would be stupid to try to go head-to-head too much with (Amazon founder Jeff) Bezos.” The problem Hoch notes in a recent article in the business school’s Knowledge at Wharton publication, is that Amazon is out to increase market share and willing to forego profits to accomplish that.

“They’ve been doing this forever. I met a strategy person there in 1998 and asked her, ‘what is the business plan?’ She said GBF — Get Big Fast. And they are still following that strategy. For a while there it looked like they were going to make a little bit of money. Then they decided not to. It’s kind of weird — Jeff Bezos can just decide whether or not to make money.”

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