BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Wal-Mart has once again upped the ante in its disruption arms race with America’s largest digital retailer, Amazon. And the newest front in the war for shoppers is the sky.
The big-box retailer recently filed a patent for a floating warehouse that makes deliveries via drones. The design bears an undeniable similarity to a patent Amazon was granted in April 2016 for a similar delivery warehouse in the sky.
But the sky is not the only front in this ongoing battle of retail might as Wal-Mart sends in additional reinforcement. Shortly after news broke about Wal-Mart’s plans for floating warehouses, the company announced that it will deliver groceries through a partnership with Uber in Orlando and Dallas starting this week.
Wal-Mart has also partnered with Google to allow customers to make purchases from Wal-Mart through the Google Home smart speaker, a clear answer to the verbal shopping capabilities of the Amazon Echo.
Both of these developments come after Wal-Mart expanded the testing of what it calls Scan & Go technology, which allows shoppers to scan their items as they shop in brick-and-mortar stores so they don’t have to wait in line to check out once their shopping trip is complete.
Here's a closer look at these developments, their implications for Wal-Mart’s competition with Amazon and what the war between these retail behemoths means for convenience stores …