At the end of the world there will nothing but cockroaches, polyester and Wal-Mart. Or so we believed. Wal-Mart has been untouchable for decades. But with Amazon’s foray into pretty much everything, box stores have found themselves questioning their immortality. The depth of public unease about the future of this general merchandise giant was validated by a report byTheStreetin which Wal-Mart’s slowing e-commerce growth in the first quarter of the year was brought to life. This has fortunes caused many to wonder whether Amazon’s absolute reign was the beginning of the end for Walmart.
Wal-Mart Strikes Back
Not long after, Walmart dispelled that notion of doubt by filing a patent for its new technology. Amazon’s innovative approach to retail is rooted in its use of high tech. This, many believe, is responsible for the company’s growth. Now, it looks like Walmart is trying to take a page out of Amazon’s book by presenting a high tech, self-service store of its own. Engadget.comreports that Walmart could be employing use of drone assistants and smart carts in near future.
The smart cart is intended to help buyers to navigate the company’s aisles while shopping. Walmart has also patented wearable tracking devices which keep track of shoppers and Walmart workers as they enter and exit the building. In its bid to reign supreme in the minds of consumers, Walmart is also considering making a drone that buyers can call up using their mobile devices when they need help finding a specific item.
The New Wave of Retail
CNBCsays the multinational retail company has yet another patent in the form of an in-store delivery tracker. This system detects when the inventory levels begin to dip low then sends a notification to restock. Finally, Wal-Mart also plans to roll out a Blockchain ledger that enables clients to resell items at the going price.
If you needed proof of Walmart’s intention, then there’s no better evidence of that than the patented Blockchain-powered delivery truck fleets. The company announced that the technology would allow self-driving trucks to drive into areas that are out of bounds through the use of “authentication-based access and encryption.”
While it’s easy to dismiss Walmart’s moves as just patents, it’s hard to ignore the fact that the company is showing commitment towards improving its business. And there’s nothing like a little competition to keep things interesting. If anything, this proves that talks of an impending disappearance of Walmart as likely as seeing a resurgence of Blockbuster.