Nearly every one of us in the US and Canada has bought something from either Walmart or Amazon in our lifetimes. Not only are these two retailers ubiquitous, but they have forever altered the way we buy goods through their experiments with things like free shipping, competitive pricing, speedy delivery, membership services, and innovative brick-and-mortar experiences.
Amazon and Walmart are obviously different in many ways, but the two companies are also surprisingly similar. This becomes particularly evident when you chart the history of their rivalry, as they race to compete for online shopping gains, or when they battle it out to acquire the same companies. Journalist and author Jason Del Ray writes about the dueling giants in his new book, Winner Sells All: Amazon, Walmart, and the Battle for Our Wallets, which traces the moves both companies have made in their decades-long slugfest.
This week, we talk to Jason Del Rey about Amazon and Walmart’s technological advances, their strategic acquisitions, and how the pandemic forced them both to change course.
Jason recommends season two of The Bear on Hulu. Mike recommends “Life After Roe,” WIRED’s series of stories about the current state of abortion rights. Lauren recommends buying gifts for people year-round, storing them in your home, then delivering them at the one time of year when you see them.
Jason Del Rey can be found on Twitter @DelRey. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
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