Wal-Mart pushing hard to catch Amazon in e-commerce

Packages moving along a conveyor belt inside a Wal-Mart fulfilment centre in Pennsylvania. The vigour of Wal-Marts online investments today contrasts with its initial reticence in e-commerce, which was due to worries that growth of online shopping would cut into sales at brick-and-mortar stores. Bloomberg NEW YORK: Wal-Mart Stores, the 800-pound gorilla of retail, is running hard to catch up in an increasingly crucial segment where it is neither the biggest nor the best: e-commerce. The company, founded in 1962 by Sam Walton, has been gobbling up smaller and niche players in e-commerce in an effort to reach online shopping market leader Amazon. Whether those efforts are paying off will be a focal point when Wal-Mart Stores reports quarterly earnings on May 18. A bit more than half of all funds spent online in the United States now goes to Amazon, according to the bank Macquarie. Part of Amazons success stems from its breadth of offerings, which includes the Kindle that people use for reading and the Prime service that broadcasts popular television shows, said Krista Fabregas, e-commerce staff writer at FitSmallBusiness.com.

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