Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

For much of its existence, Walmart — with its "Save money. Live better." slogan — has catered to lower-income consumers, consistently offering the cheapest prices.

Now, as its rivalry Amazon intensifies, the retail giant is going after a wholly new cohort: the wealthy shoppers in superstar cities who traditionally shop on Amazon.

The big picture: Over the last two decades, Walmart and Amazon have carved out their own territories. Walmart reigns over redder, more rural and lower-income America, while Amazon commands the larger, liberal metros. Along the way, both have trod on the other's turf. But now they are stepping up their bloody fight for market share.

  • As we've reported, Amazon — along with other retailers — is attempting to loosen Walmart's viselike grip on low-income shoppers with discounted Prime memberships and pilot programs that accept SNAP benefits for grocery delivery.
  • But at the same time, Walmart has been encroaching on Amazon's territory — younger, wealthier, largely urban shoppers.
    • 82% of households making more than $112,000 per year subscribe to Prime, according to investment bank Piper Jaffray.
    • Only 23% of Prime members live in rural areas, and the most active buyers are 22–39 years old, per market research firm Gartner L2.

Neither Walmart nor Amazon responded to emails seeking comment. But Walmart sees the affluent market as essential to its growth: The potential for Walmart in discount retail is beginning to disappear as the field gets more crowded and its consumer base suffers from the one-two punch of stagnating wages and likely tariffs on common consumer goods, says Nelson Lichtenstein, editor of "Walmart: The Face of Twenty-First-Century Capitalism."

So, over the past few years Walmart has acquired Jet.com to bolster its e-commerce business, plus fashion brands like Bonobos and ModCloth that have gained popularity among the same consumers who are loyal to Amazon.

  • It modernized its website and plastered the New York City subway with well-designed ads for Jet that more closely resemble marketing products from hip, millennial brands like Away and Glossier than Walmart's classic look.
  • And just last month, it debuted JetBlack, a new membership service. At $50 a month — nearly four times Prime's monthly $12.99 cost — you get access to a personal shopper whom you can text to order from Walmart, Jet, Saks, Pottery Barn and other retailers.
  • The investments appear to have paid off. Walmart's e-commerce business grew by 40% in 2018, per earnings reports.

But, but, but: This is a tough battle, and it's not clear who is winning. Neither Walmart nor Amazon break down their sales in a way that reveals this market.

But in one suggestive peek behind the curtain, Walmart e-commerce boss Marc Lore said two-thirds of Jetblack members spend $1,500 monthly. He did not reveal the size of the user base.

In another clue, Walmart’s curbside grocery pickup business is booming and will account for 33% of the giant's digital revenue by 2020, Cowen and Company projects.

  • "Most grocery pickup shoppers, in general, are affluent, busy, young professionals often with children," writes Grocery Dive's Krishna Thacker, citing market research firm Numerator.
  • "By acquiring new brands and by using its website to showcase more premium products, Walmart has started to gain more traction with wealthier shoppers," says Neil Saunders of GlobalData Retail.

Go deeper

Cuomo: "No way I resign" after sexual harassment accusations

Cuomo at a Feb. 24 press conference. Photo: Seth Wenig/pool/AFP via Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) was defiant on Sunday, stating again that he would not resign even as more former aides have come forward with allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior.

The big picture: Cuomo has denied all sexual harassment allegations against him and said that he "never inappropriately touched anybody." He acknowledged in a statement that "some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation." Some of the calls for Cuomo to resign have come from within the Democratic party.

N.Y. Times faces culture clashes as business booms

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

New York Times columnist David Brooks' resignation from a paid gig at a think tank on Saturday is the latest in a flurry of scandals that America's biggest and most successful newspaper company has endured in the past year.

Driving the news: Brooks resigned from the Aspen Institute following a BuzzFeed News investigation that uncovered conflicts of interest between his reporting and money he accepted from corporate donors for a project called "Weave" that he worked on at the nonprofit.

America rebalances its post-Trump news diet

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Nearly halfway through President Biden's first 100 days, data shows that Americans are learning to wean themselves off of news — and especially politics.

Why it matters: The departure of former President Trump's once-ubiquitous presence in the news cycle has reoriented the country's attention.