Nov 13, 2017

Walmart is raising prices online to draw shoppers to stores

A shopper walks with a store associate at a Walmart in Teterboro, N.J. Photo: Julio Cortez / AP

Walmart is experimenting with a new pricing system that is sometimes resulting in higher prices for goods sold online, the Wall Street Journal reports. "It simply costs less to sell some items in stores. Customers can access those store prices online when they choose to pick up the item in store," a Walmart spokesperson told the Journal.

Why it matters: Walmart is walking a tightrope, trying to protect sales at its highly profitable brick-and-mortar locations while expanding its online footprint. While the firm has greatly increased e-commerce sales in recent quarters, it has come at the cost of shrinking profit margins.

Why it's risky: Even as Walmart expands its online business, its growth lags behind Amazon. eMarketer estimates that Amazon will account for 43.5% of U.S. online sales this year, compared with 38.1% last year, while Walmart's share will grow to 3.6%, from 2.8% in 2016.

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Sign of the times: A pro-Warren super PAC

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren at a rally in Nevada. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

A group of women progressives who back Sen. Elizabeth Warren has formed Persist PAC, a super PAC airing pro-Warren ads starting Wednesday in an effort to boost her performance ahead of Saturday's crucial Nevada caucuses, a spokesman told Axios.

Why it matters: Warren has spoken adamantly against the influence of unlimited spending and dark money in politics. But these supporters have concluded that before Warren can reform the system, she must win under the rules that exist — and that whether she likes it or not, their uncoordinated help may be needed to keep her viable through this weekend's contest and into South Carolina and Super Tuesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Pentagon policy chief resigns amid reported discord with Trump

John Rood. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

John Rood, the Pentagon's top policy official, will resign from his post at the end of the month, CNN first reported and President Trump confirmed.

The state of play: CNN said Rood "was perceived as not embracing some of the changes in policy the White House and senior Pentagon officials wanted," such as peace talks in Afghanistan with the Taliban and a decision to cut back on military exercises with South Korea as the president courted North Korea's Kim Jong-un.

Coronavirus cases rise, as warnings of global pandemic grow

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

We may be "at the brink" of a global pandemic, warns a top U.S. public health official, as cases continue to spread despite containment efforts. Meanwhile, the global economy is being affected, including the tech manufacturing industry.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,000 people and infected over 75,000 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 136 new deaths since Tuesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health