The Amazonification of Walmart Continues
At first sight, it may appear Walmart's (NYSE: WMT) performance under CEO Doug McMillon is lacking. There's more to the story as McMillon has done an admirable job refocusing a company that had lost its momentum under prior CEO Mike Duke while repositioning the company for the future. Walmart Labs has nearly 400 job openings, with most sounding more like positions at Amazon, including data scientist, cloud computing engineer, and streaming data engineer. While Walmart has a long-term focus to compete with Amazon for the e-commerce market, the company will continue to be defined by its brick-and-mortar retail channel. However, Walmart is looking at using technology to wring out efficiencies from its 700 million square feet of U.S. retail space. Legacy shareholders purchased the company expecting a brick-and-mortar retailer, not a technology company. Even if Walmart's largest group of shareholders -- the Walton family -- is on board with a tech-focused future, it may not be enough to offset the fears of value and dividend-oriented investors expecting steady returns, reliable capex spend, and seemingly prudent acquisitions -- pretty much the opposite of technology companies. Therefore, it's likely Walmart will not be afforded the same latitude as Amazon.