Can Wal-Mart Take on Amazon?
Wal-Mart Storesshares are sitting at all-time highs as the retail giant made some upbeat comments at its annual analyst and investor meeting on Wednesday.
Joe Feldman, senior analyst at the Telsey Advisory Group, came away from the meeting enthusiastic about the stock and its plans to offer same-day shipping.
He noted that while Wal-Mart will continue to open stores in the U.S. next year, it plans to reduce capital expenditures by $500 million in 2013, “which is something investors had wanted to see.”
In terms of the holiday, Feldman noted that Wal-Mart is seeing strong layaway orders after starting the process a month earlier than it did last year. Layaway allows consumers buying more expensive items like an Apple iPad to put them on hold and pay for them over time. (Read More: US Walmart Stores See Strong Holiday Layaway Sales.)
Feldman also expects Wal-Mart’s plan to take on Amazon.comwith same-day delivery will bear fruit. “Wal-Mart has 4,000 points of distribution in the U.S.,” he said. “Why not try to leverage that better?”
While Wal-Mart is only testing the new service in four markets, Feldman said this ultimately will be “a value and volume” play for the retailer, and the incremental sales will offset the additional costs.
He did concede, however, that shipping from a store is more costly than shipping items directly from a warehouse.
—By CNBC.com’s Justin Menza
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Neither Feldman nor Telsey Advisory had conflicts to report.