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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Updated 13 mins ago - World

China says U.S. is "endangering peace" with high-level visit to Taiwan

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar during a June briefing in Washington, DC. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced Tuesday night he will lead a delegation to Taiwan "in the coming days."

Why it matters: It's the highest-level visit by a U.S. cabinet official to Taiwan since 1979. Azar is also the first U.S. Cabinet member to visit the island state in six years. The visit has angered China, which views Taiwan as part of its territory. Chinese officials accused the U.S. early Wednesday of "endangering peace" with the visit, AFP reports.

Updated 57 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 a.m. ET: 18,543,662 — Total deaths: 700,714 — Total recoveries — 11,143,031Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 a.m. ET: 4,771,236 — Total deaths: 156,807 — Total recoveries: 1,528,979 — Total tests: 57,543,852Map.
  3. States: New York City health commissioner resigns in protest of De Blasio's coronavirus response — Local governments go to war over schools.
  4. Public health: 59% of Americans support nationwide 2-week stay-at-home order in NPR poll.
  5. Politics: Trump's national security adviser returns to work after coronavirus recovery Republicans push to expand small business loan program.
  6. Sports: Indy 500 to be held without fansRafael Nadal opts out of U.S. Open.
Updated 2 hours ago - World

At least 100 killed, 4,000 injured after massive explosion rocks Beirut

Photo: Anwar Amro/AFP via Getty Images

A major explosion has slammed central Beirut, Lebanon, damaging buildings as far as several miles away and injuring scores of people.

Driving the news: At least 100 people have been killed and over 4,000 injured in the blast — and the death toll is likely to rise, the Lebanese Red Cross said, per AP. Prime Minister Hassan Diab said the explosions occurred at a warehouse that had been storing 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate for the past six years.