Amazon’s New Day Has a Rough Start | Sidnaz Blog

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The results create a bit more of a challenging setup for new CEO Andy Jassy.



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Patrick Fallon/Zuma Press

OK, so maybe

Jeff Bezos

isn’t quite going out on top.

The final quarter for

Amazon.com


AMZN -0.84%

under the direct management of its famous founder turned out to be a bit of a letdown. Revenue and operating income for the second quarter both fell shy of Wall Street’s estimates, as did the high end of the company’s revenue forecast for the current quarter. It was the first time the e-commerce titan missed the high end of its own sales projections in two years, according to data from FactSet.

Amazon’s


AMZN -0.84%

shares fell more than 7% following the results.

The company is still a juggernaut. Second-quarter revenue rose 27% to $113.1 billion, bringing trailing 12-month sales to more than $443 billion. That puts Amazon well on pace to overtake

Walmart

as the largest U.S. company by annual sales some time next year, while still growing at double-digit rates. Growth at the company’s crucial AWS cloud business also picked up, with revenue jumping 37% year over year compared with a 32% rise in the last quarter. That lines up with trends shown by cloud rivals

Microsoft

and Google earlier this week, suggesting that the market leader, AWS, is at least holding its ground.

But the boom in online sales Amazon enjoyed at the start of the pandemic created a challenging comparison for the most recent quarter. Thursday’s results confirmed the suspicions of some analysts that the company’s Prime Day sales event in late June underwhelmed. Amazon’s online stores segment saw revenue grow by only 16% to $53.2 billion in the second quarter, falling well short of analysts’ targets. Revenue growth from third-party and subscription services decelerated. Advertising revenue, reflected in the company’s “Other” segment, showed a strong jump of 87% year over year to $7.9 billion. But advertising still contributes only about 7% to Amazon’s total revenue.

The results create a bit more of a challenging setup for new CEO

Andy Jassy

as Amazon will face difficult comparisons for the rest of the year following its pandemic-fueled sales jump in 2020. But the bar seems low enough. The midpoint of the company’s revenue projection for the third quarter represents growth of 13% year over year. That would be Amazon’s slowest growth rate in 20 years, even with the pandemic picking back up and possibly driving more sales online.

Amazon’s new boss has plenty to do.

Write to Dan Gallagher at [email protected]

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Latest News Today – Flipkart Goes To Supreme Court In Antitrust Case: Report

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Flipkart Goes To Supreme Court In Antitrust Case: Report

Flipkart filed an appeal in the Supreme Court, challenging the state’s decision

Walmart’s Flipkart has appealed to the Supreme Court against a state court’s decision that allowed an antitrust probe into the e-commerce firm and its rival Amazon.com Inc to continue, three sources told Reuters on Tuesday.

The High Court in Karnataka state last week dismissed cases filed by Amazon and Flipkart which sought to quash the Competition Commission of India’s (CCI) 2020 investigation. The companies denied any wrongdoing, but the court said “they should not feel shy in facing an inquiry.”

On Tuesday, Flipkart filed an appeal in the Supreme Court, challenging that decision, three people familiar with the proceedings said.

Further details of the challenge, or Flipkart’s pleas, were not immediately clear. The Supreme Court website showed Flipkart had filed a case against the CCI and other parties, without giving more details.

Flipkart did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Amazon is also expected to file an appeal against the high court ruling, according to people familiar with the case.

The CCI investigation is the latest setback for Amazon and Flipkart, which are grappling with prospects of tougher e-commerce regulations and accusations from brick-and-mortar retailers that the companies circumvent Indian law by creating complex business structures.

The companies face several allegations in the case, including exclusive launches of mobile phones, promotion of select sellers on their websites and deep discounting practices that drive out competition.

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Latest News Today – US E-Commerce Giants Are ‘Arrogant’, Flouting Our Laws:

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Indian Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal has ratcheted up the heat on US ecommerce giants like Amazon and Walmart, accusing them of arrogance and of flouting local laws by indulging in predatory pricing practices.

Goyal said companies were using their scale and access to large pools of low-cost capital to indulge in predatory pricing practices “to the detriment of mom-and-pop stores.”

“A number of these large ecommerce companies have come into India and very blatantly flouted the laws of the land in more ways than one,” he told a virtual event late on Saturday.

“I’ve had several engagements with these large companies, particularly the American ones, and I can see a little bit of arrogance,” he said.

Goyal did not directly name Amazon or Walmart’s Flipkart – the two dominant ecommerce players in India – or specify which laws had been flouted. But his comments come at a time of growing clamour from small Indian traders and retailers, who accuse the US giants of circumventing Indian consumer protection laws and competition laws.

Amazon and Flipkart did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Goyal’s scathing criticism.

The two companies have denied the allegations levelled against them by the traders.

Goyal also criticised companies for indulging in “forum shopping” in courts and failing to comply with an investigation launched by the Competition Commission of India (CCI).

Flipkart and Amazon have appealed against the CCI’s bid to restart an investigation into their business practices, after a judge this month dismissed the companies’ original pleas.

“To my mind, if they have nothing to hide, if they are doing honest business practices, why don’t they respond to the CCI?” Goyal said at the virtual event organised by the Stanford India Policy and Economics Club.

His comments came days after India unveiled a new set of ecommerce regulations that could dent both Amazon and Flipkart’s ambitions in India, and force the duo to review certain business structures.

Separately, in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday, the Confederation of All India Traders, accused ecommerce companies of treating India like a “banana republic” with weak laws.

The body urged the government to ensure that the proposed e-commerce rules were not diluted, despite the lobbying efforts of ecommerce giants.

The US-India Business Council, a top US lobby group, described India’s proposed new ecommerce rules as concerning in an internal memo this week.

© Thomson Reuters 2021


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Latest News Today – Flipkart Challenges Court Order on Antitrust Probe,

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Walmart’s Flipkart has filed a legal challenge against the restarting of an antitrust probe into the company, arguing in a court filing that the investigation would cause “irreparable injury.”

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) launched an investigation in January last year following a complaint alleging that Flipkart and Amazon promoted select sellers on their e-commerce platforms and used deep discounts to stifle competition.

The companies have denied wrongdoing and near-immediate legal challenges from the pair stalled the probe for more than a year until a court last week ruled it could resume, having dismissed arguments that the CCI lacked evidence.

The fresh appeal from Flipkart, filed on June 16, argues that decision by the Karnataka court to allow the probe to resume was erroneous and must be put on hold.

“Irreparable injury will be caused to the appellant if the investigation was to continue pending the present appeal,” the filing, which was not made public but has been viewed by Reuters, said.

It also urged the court to quash the initial CCI order for the investigation.

Flipkart and CCI did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Amazon, which industry sources said was expected to file a similar challenge, declined to comment.

Sources told Reuters earlier this week that the CCI planned to expedite the investigation as it intensifies scrutiny of big-tech firms, Reuters reported this week. The CCI plans to demand information from Flipkart and Amazon to the allegations “as quickly as possible”, one source said, contrary to the several months such probes usually take.

Both Amazon and Flipkart are currently battling accusations from offline retailers that their complex business structures allow them to circumvent foreign investment rules for e-commerce.

In February, a Reuters investigation based on Amazon documents showed the e-tailer for years gave preferential treatment to a small group of sellers on its Indian platform. Amazon has said it “does not give preferential treatment to any seller”.

© Thomson Reuters 2021


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Latest News Today – Amazon, Flipkart Pleas to Quash Antitrust Case Rejected

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An Indian court dismissed pleas on Friday by Amazon.com and Walmart’s Flipkart to quash an antitrust investigation into the business practices of the U.S. firms, dealing them a blow in their key growth market.

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) announced its investigation in January 2020 after a trader group’s complaint accused the firms of promoting some “preferred sellers” and hurting business for smaller sellers.

A court had put the investigation on hold last year after Amazon and Flipkart challenged it saying the CCI had no evidence the e-commerce giants were harming competition.

On Friday, Justice P.S. Dinesh Kumar of the high court in the southern state of Karnataka said he was dismissing the petitions by Amazon and Flipkart, and refused them any further relief.

“It would be unwise to prejudge the issues … at this stage and scuttle the investigation,” Kumar wrote in his 51-page order.

Amazon said it would review the order “carefully and then decide on the next steps”. Flipkart did not immediately respond.

Abir Roy, a lawyer for the Indian trader group Delhi Vyapar Mahasangh, told Reuters the judge’s decision effectively paves the way to restart the investigation, which has been on hold since February 2020.

However, the companies are likely to appeal against the verdict.

When the competition watchdog ordered its investigation, it listed four alleged anti-competitive practices. These were exclusive launches of mobile phones by the e-commerce firms, promoting preferred sellers on their websites, deep discounting practices, and prioritising some seller listings over others.

The CCI investigation will be the latest setback for the firms, which have also battled tougher foreign investment rules, and faced accusations for years from brick-and-mortar retailers about circumventing Indian law by creating complex business structures.

In February, a Reuters investigation based on internal Amazon documents showed the U.S. firm for years had helped a small number of sellers prosper on its platform in India, giving them discounted fees and helping one cut special deals with big tech firms.

As the competition watchdog sought to restart the probe, it told the Karnataka court in March,  the Reuters report corroborated evidence it had received against Amazon.

In response, the company, which has said it “does not give preferential treatment to any seller”, told the court.  It disagreed with the Reuters report, which should not be considered evidence.

 

© Thomson Reuters 2021


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Latest News Today – Flipkart in Talks to Raise $3 Billion From SoftBank,

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Walmart-owned Indian e-commerce firm Flipkart is in talks to raise at least $3 billion (roughly Rs. 21,850 crores) from investors including Japan’s SoftBank Group and several sovereign wealth funds, Bloomberg News reported on Monday.

The startup is aiming for a valuation of about $40 billion (roughly Rs. 2,91,130 crores) and is in talks with Singapore’s GIC Pte., Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter.

SoftBank could invest $300 million (roughly Rs. 2,180 crores) to $500 million (roughly Rs. 3,640 crores) of the total through its Vision Fund II, according to the report.

Flipkart, SoftBank, and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.

SoftBank sold its roughly 20 percent stake in the e-commerce firm to Walmart in 2018.

The Indian company is in the early stages of exploring going public in the United States through a deal with a blank-check firm, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters in March.

Reuters exclusively reported in September that Bengaluru-based Flipkart was preparing to go public overseas as early as 2021, which could value the firm at as much as $50 billion (roughly Rs. 3,63,920 crores).

© Thomson Reuters 2021


Interested in cryptocurrency? We discuss all things crypto with WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty and WeekendInvesting founder Alok Jain on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

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Why It’ll Only Get Harder to Find a PS5, and How to Buy One | Sidnaz Blog

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PlayStation 5 stock has been scant since launch, but buying the console will probably get even more difficult in the coming weeks. Many PS5-exclusive games are now available or nearing launch, and we’re sure to see big reveals at upcoming events like E3 and Summer Game Fest that are likely to increase demand for the console. TechRadar’s editor-in-chief and PS5 restock tracker Matt Swider says he expects demand for the PS5 to be as high as the Nintendo Switch.

However, Sony won’t be able to boost production to meet that demand until the ongoing semiconductor shortage and global pandemic relent; and even once things start going back to normal, it’ll be a long time before supply chains pick up.

With more people than ever looking to buy one of the few PS5s available, the chances of snagging one from an online retailer will be tougher than ever—but not impossible. Here are some tips for buying a PS5 before the ravenous hordes of die-hard fans, bots, and scalpers get them first.

How to buy a PS5 before they sell out again

  • Call your local stores: Some locations may be offering in-store units separate from its online stock. Call your local stores to see if they have more or are expecting more soon. (If you buy in-person, make sure you follow any COVID-related safety measures in place for your city).
  • Set up alerts from online retailers: Bookmark the store listings for as many online retailers as you can. Create a store account, sign up for automatic email, browser, and mobile push notifications whenever available. Here are the store pages for Sony, Amazon, Best Buy (PS5, PS5 digital-only), Walmart (PS5, PS5 digital-only), Target (PS5, PS5 digital-only), Sam’s Club, GameStop (PS5, PS5 digital-only), and NewEgg. Many of these retailers will also offer limited-time bundles that include pack-in gams and extra accessories. The bundles are more expensive than buying the basic PS5 package, but are worth checking for as well.
  • Use autofill and quick checkout options: Set up autofill and auto payment options in your browser(s), store accounts, or password managers. I’m not usually into the idea of having my name, mailing address, and payment info saved remotely, but filling out an order with a single click will increase your chances of success.
  • Get restock alerts: Opt into email, text, or push notification alerts from the various retailers for when preorders are back in stock. Not every store provides these alerts, but you can use a service like NowInStock for immediate alerts (assuming the website hasn’t crashed due to high traffic). Another great option is visualping.io, which monitors web pages and alerts you whenever there’s an update.
  • Follow particular social media accounts: Follow Twitter accounts that tweet whenever new stock is available, and enable push notifications or SMS alerts for when they tweet. Some suggested accounts are @Wario64, @mattswider, @GYXdeals, @PS5Drop, and @PS5StockAlerts. Be sure to comment below if you know of other reliable accounts to follow. Similarly, there are public Discord servers and Telegram channels that send alerts whenever new PS5s are available.
  • Avoid eBay: Scalpers will charge twice as much—sometimes more—for a preorder. The PS5 is rad, but it’s not $1,000 rad.

If you manage to buy a PS5 online, congrats! But don’t let your guard down yet; you need to monitor your email for at least the next few days, as orders routinely get canceled due to over-selling, failed transactions, and other errors.

This story was originally published in September 2020 and was updated on May 25, 2021 with new information.

 



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AT&T, MongoDB, Aon: What to Watch When the Stock Market Opens | Sidnaz Blog

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Here’s what we’re watching ahead of Tuesday’s opening bell.

  • U.S. stock futures rose, pointing to gains for major indexes at the opening bell after worries about inflation weighed on markets Monday.
  • Technology stocks look set to lead the way. Futures for the Nasdaq-100 were up 0.7%. Contracts for the S&P 500, meanwhile, were up 0.3%.
  • Oil and copper prices were higher, the dollar weaker and yields on 10-year Treasury notes up to 1.648% from 1.639% Monday. Read our full market wrap here.
What’s Coming Up
Market Movers to Watch

The headquarters of MongoDB in Palo Alto, Calif. on Jan. 24, 2016.



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Kris Tripplaar/Sipa USA/Associated Press

  • CrowdStrike


    CRWD -1.11%

    gained 1.5%. Following the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack, some analysts said cybersecurity firms would benefit from an increase in spending on security vendors.

Market Facts
  • Shares of Chinese tutoring companies took a dive after a report Thursday that China may introduce tough rules in June on the country’s private tutoring sector. Shares of New York listed TAL Education dropped 11% on Thursday, while New Oriental Education fell 14% the same day. 
  • Front-month Nymex crude for June delivery on Monday hit its highest settle value since April 23, 2019, as it gained 90 cents per barrel, or 1.4% to $66.27.
  • On this day in 1553, one of the earliest business ventures financed by selling stock to the public was launched. Three ships—the Bona Speranza, the Edward Bonaventure, and the Bona Confidentia—set out from Gravesend in England seeking “discoverie of new trades northe warde” in Russia. The Russia Company earned no money for at least three decades and many of its investors died without receiving a dividend.
Chart of the Day
Must Reads Since You Went to Bed

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Latest News Today – Walmart, Flipkart, PhonePe Collaborate To Leverage

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Walmart, Flipkart, PhonePe Collaborate To Leverage Resources For India's COVID Battle

Walmart Foundation will donate Rs14.82 crore to support various NGOs in India

Global retail giant Walmart Inc announced its support to leverage resources for India’s battle against the second wave of COVID-19. According to a recent statement by Walmart on Friday, April 30, the Walmart Foundation along with Flipkart, PhonePe will collaborate to counter the medical-grade oxygen shortage and support the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive. Walmart will donate 20 cryogenic containers for oxygen transportation and storage, 20 oxygen-generating plants, and over 3,000 oxygen concentrators with 500 oxygen cylinders to ensure oxygen therapy for the treatment of patients.

The medical equipment will be sourced globally and donated to the hospitals and non-governmental organisations in India for distribution. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation will also fund extra 2,500 oxygen concentrators as part of the U.S-India Business Council and the U.S-India Strategic Partnership Forum’s joint relief effort. 

According to the statement, the Walmart Foundation will donate Rs 14.82 crore to support various non-governmental organisations in India and a sum of Rs 7.41 crore will be allocated through the Walmart Foundation Disaster Relief Fund. The other amount – Rs 7.41 crore will be allocated to the GIVE Foundation Inc to assist GiveIndia’s COVID response fund. This will aid the physical infrastructure and equipment for the healthcare industry in India, prioritizing the most vulnerable communities.

Meanwhile, Indian e-commerce major Flipkart – acquired by Walmart in 2018, is partnering with GiveIndia to raise funds to provide crucial medical supplies such as PPE kits, oxygen supply, hand sanitizers, etc for the healthcare workers in Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore.  

At an earlier stage, Walmart, the Walmart Foundation along with Flipkart provided Rs 46 crore, in the form of financial support and in-kind to India. This included more than one million PPE, CPE kits or gowns, 88 ventilators, as many as 600,000 N95 masks, and other such contributions.

Additionally, Walmart Canada – the Canadian subsidiary, will offer support through the Canadian Red Cross India COVID-19 Response Appeal, to fund the transport and ambulance services for patients, quarantine isolation centers, etc.

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Latest News Today – How The Pandemic Helped Walmart Battle Amazon

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How The Pandemic Helped Walmart Battle Amazon Marketplace For Sellers

Walmart has distinguished itself as a safer, less crowded marketplace than Amazon

Between 2009 and 2014, Walmart’s Marketplace business, where outside merchants hawk everything from baby blankets to power tools, counted no more than six sellers, and was described by one expert as “in limbo.” But what was treated as an afterthought for years has emerged as an important leg in the world’s biggest retailer’s long-term strategy to take on Amazon Inc, which it is battling for advertising and ecommerce dollars. Walmart Marketplace grew to an estimated 70,000 sellers in 2020, fueled by a surge in online shopping due to the Covid-19 pandemic and a series of investments in technology and vendor relationships reported here for the first time.

That is expected to rise 146 per cent by the end of 2022, according to projections by data firm Marketplace Pulse that have not yet been published. The rapid growth is starting to stress the system, some merchants said, a growing number of whom worry that if the pace picks up, Walmart risks damaging its reputation as a haven for quality sellers. Reuters spoke with vendors from Walmart.com and Amazon, analytics companies that help merchants sell on both marketplaces, industry experts, consultants and executives.

“A year or two ago, every brand on Walmart.com would be trustworthy but now it’s getting very similar to Amazon and that’s a huge risk,” said Cal Chan, who sells supplements and skincare products on both Walmart and Amazon. “Amazon let everyone under the sun in – that helped them grow, but now they’re trying to clean up the riff-raff and it’s very hard to close Pandora’s Box.”

Amazon disputed the characterization by merchants and said it has a thorough vetting process designed to help honest sellers set up accounts quickly. The company employs more than 8,000 people to remove counterfeit products, false listings and identify intellectual property theft. In 2019, Amazon stopped over 2.5 million suspected bad actors from opening Amazon selling accounts, and blocked more than 6 billion suspected bad listings, an Amazon spokesman said in an email.

Walmart has distinguished itself as a safer, less crowded marketplace than rivals like Amazon, making it easier for merchants to stand out and sell products. But it is now expected to see a surge of new vendors after it said last month it will open its online store to international merchants, which are less accountable to U.S. consumer protection laws. Walmart has already added over 130 new Chinese sellers, Marketplace Pulse said.

The retailer said it is actively courting foreign vendors including from ecommerce giant Flipkart, which is bigger than Amazon in India and in which Walmart holds a 77% stake. It vowed to maintain quality control.

“We do not plan to lower our bar or change our vetting standards, our monitoring or management of sellers,” Jeff Clementz, Vice President of Walmart Marketplace, said. “We are aiming to attract the best from around the world.” Walmart said its sourcing teams in other countries have begun vetting potential sellers by their reviews, licensing permissions, reputations and items.

The business of providing a storefront for outside sellers is, as one analyst called it, a “secret weapon” for Amazon and a major growth engine that has caught the attention of Target and big tech rivals Google and Facebook, which are eager to expand similar businesses.

Sales generated by Amazon’s third-party vendors totaled $189 billion last year in the United States, or nearly 60 per cent of the company’s total U.S. retail ecommerce sales, according to eMarketer data from Insider Intelligence.

Amazon, which declined to verify these numbers, dwarfs Walmart’s marketplace and is estimated to have more than 3 million sellers on its U.S. third-party store at the end of 2022, and 7.5 million globally, according to Marketplace Pulse. But the lure of Walmart’s over 5,000 stores and clubs – more important than ever as pick-up and delivery hubs take off due to the pandemic – is a big attraction for many vendors.

“Walmart has something Amazon can’t match: brick-and-mortar stores. If you do well on Walmart.com, there’s potential you can get into a regular Walmart,” said Bradley Sutton, who works at third-party seller consulting firm Helium 10. “It’s like the Holy Grail for vendors. That’s way bigger than Amazon.”

‘Strategic Priority’

Marketplace’s elevation to what Clementz in June called a “strategic priority” tracks Walmart’s reinvention from digital also-ran to the No. 2 spot behind Amazon. The transformation began with the 2016 addition of serial entrepreneur Marc Lore to lead Walmart’s U.S. ecommerce business. That year, it agreed to spend $3.3 billion on Lore’s less than three-year-old Jet.com.

“This company, over time, is going to look like more of an ecommerce company,” Walmart Chief Executive Doug McMillon said at the time. By early October 2016, 17 days after joining Walmart, Lore laid out a strategy that included a plan to not only lure hipper, urban, millennial shoppers to Jet.com and Walmart.com, but also to make both sites attractive to smaller merchants.

Lore eyed an opportunity to lure sellers of “more premium-type brands that don’t typically want to sell on marketplaces” of rivals. Some vendors described a rigorous process to get on Walmart Marketplace that can take weeks and includes submitting bank account information, sales records and social security details.

When Clementz, previously COO of Walmart.com, was put in charge of Marketplace, the first order of business for the veteran of PayPal and Intel was to improve “glitchy,” complicated software for listing products and simplify the process of connecting analytics and delivery firms for vendors, said sellers.

Walmart spruced up its advertising platform, rolled out software to protect sellers’ intellectual property, launched a delivery and logistics service, and introduced its version of Amazon Prime, called Walmart+, a membership program that “100 per cent boosts sales,” according to fitness equipment merchant Michael Lebhar.

Hoping to address complaints from sellers, Walmart hired “strategic account managers” who cater to top vendors. On Tuesday, Walmart emailed vendors to apply for “a chance to win the opportunity to sell” U.S.-made products in stores.

To sweeten the pot, Walmart has also undercut Amazon on the commission it takes on sales of some items. Walmart takes a 3 per cent-20 per cent cut of items sold versus Amazon’s rate of 6 per cent-45 per cent, depending on the type of product. The month Walmart opened its market to international sellers, new vendors were told they would not have to pay a commission at all for a limited time.

But concessions like this generate concern among some sellers. “This is alarming and will end up with Walmart having similar counterfeit or quality issues like Amazon is having,” said Ryan Ebel, 30, a third-party seller from Las Vegas.

Lore, who left the company at the end of January and remains an advisor, said he is “not worried” about Walmart’s expansion to foreign sellers. “The magic is finding that white line, the right balance between adding more assortment but not going down a path of letting anybody on the platform,” he said.

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