Nov 17, 2018

Walmart is trying cashierless again

Photo: Jeffrey Greenberg/UIG via Getty Images

In May, Walmart put the kibosh on cashierless shopping — it said that its customers aren't so interested in possibly faster checkout without human help. But this week, it's started trying again.

What's going on: In Dallas, Walmart's Sam’s Club launched "Now," a cashierless store half the size of a normal Sam’s Club. It will be a testing ground that will include augmented reality and mobile checkout.

The opening comes 10 months after Amazon opened Go, a cashierless store in Seattle, arguably setting Walmart behind the latest big trend in retail. But in a report today on its third-quarter earnings, Walmart reported a solid 43% jump in e-commerce sales, suggesting that the company may simply be following a differing path.

  • The surging online growth has been fueled by the acquisition of Jet.com, an e-commerce startup. "Ever since the Jet.com acquisition in 2016, their overall growth in 2017 and year-to-date growth in 2018 has been stronger than it was before the acquisition," Sucharita Kodali, research analyst at Forrester, tells Axios.
  • In a note to clients, Moody's Lead Retail Analyst Charlie O'Shea said, “The leveraging of its massive store network as a key driver of its prodigious online growth on a sizable base continues at a rapid clip, with its grocery business leading this charge. And we expect the expansion of food pickup to continue to resonate with consumers for the foreseeable future, producing further market share gains in this key category.”

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U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll nears 11,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Recorded deaths from the novel coronavirus surpassed 10,900 in the U.S. early Tuesday, per Johns Hopkins data. More than 1,000 people in the U.S. have died of coronavirus-related conditions each day since April 1.

Why it matters: U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said on Sunday this week will be "the hardest and saddest week of most Americans' lives" — calling it our "our Pearl Harbor, our 9/11 moment."

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 p.m. ET: 1,347,803 — Total deaths: 74,807 — Total recoveries: 277,402Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 p.m. ET: 368,196 — Total deaths: 10,986 — Total recoveries: 19,828Map.
  3. Trump administration latest: President Trump's economic adviser Peter Navarro warned White House colleagues in late January the coronavirus could take over half a million American lives and cost close to $6 trillion, memos obtained by Axios show.
  4. 2020 update: Wisconsin Supreme Court blocks governor's attempt to delay in-person primary voting delayed until June.
  5. States latest: West Coast states send ventilators to New York and other states with more immediate need — Data suggest coronavirus curve may be flattening in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
  6. World update: U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson moved to intensive care as coronavirus symptoms worsen.
  7. Stocks latest: The S&P 500 closed up 7% on Monday, while the Dow rose more than 1,500 points.
  8. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Docs: Navarro memos warning mass death circulated West Wing in January

Image from a memo to President Trump

In late January, President Trump's economic adviser Peter Navarro warned his White House colleagues the novel coronavirus could take more than half a million American lives and cost close to $6 trillion, according to memos obtained by Axios.

  • By late February, Navarro was even more alarmed, and he warned his colleagues, in another memo, that up to two million Americans could die of the virus.

Driving the news: Navarro's grim estimates are set out in two memos — one dated Jan. 29 and addressed to the National Security Council, the other dated Feb. 23 and addressed to the president. The NSC circulated both memos around the White House and multiple agencies.

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