Future of Retail

Walmart lowers earnings expectations citing Flipkart acquisition

Walmart's logo on a shopping cart.
Photo: Robyn Becky/AFP via Getty Images

Walmart expects earnings to take a hit from its FlipKart acquisition in the coming year, and predicts online sales will slow from its current pace in the next fiscal year, the company said on Tuesday.

The details: Walmart is upping the ante to keep up with Amazon, but its e-commerce business is projected to grow 35% in fiscal year 2020, compared to the 40% it's on pace to grow in the current year, per Reuters. The company also said it plans to open 3,100 grocery pickup locations and over 1,500 grocery delivery stations in the next few years.

Sears' last chapter: More panic over e-commerce

Black and white photo of Sears storefront in 1943
Sears in 1943, the good old days. Photo: Gordon Coster/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Like the rest of Big Retail, Sears thrived for a century and a half on a low-wage, low-productivity strategy, hiring thousands of workers to wade through mountains of inventory and stock shelves. But its practice of sluggishness finally caught up it, as the company today filed for bankruptcy with plans to close another 142 stores.

Why it matters: Brick-and-mortar retail still rakes in a whopping majority — 91% — of shopping dollars. But Sears' fate is the latest and perhaps most dramatic example of how, since 1990, the productivity of department stores has stayed remarkably flat, while online shopping has surged.