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The Wall Street Journal reports that Neil Ashe, CEO of Walmart's global e-commerce business, is predicting that his company will be able to match Amazon's service levels and product offerings within two years.

He made the comments at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

"Amazon has proved a fierce competitor for Wal-Mart, more than doubling revenue to $61 billion from 2009," the Journal writes. "Today Amazon's market capitalization is $180 billion, compared with $241 billion for Wal-Mart.

"The question for Wal-Mart is how it can efficiently adapt its existing infrastructure for online orders. With its own extensive network of warehouses and logistics expertise, Amazon has often been able to beat on number of product offerings and speed of delivery. The plan under way will augment fulfillment from existing stores and distribution centers with online-only facilities, Mr. Ashe said."
KC's View:
I tend to believe that Ashe says what he means and means what he says. But saying it doesn't make it so.

It will take a colossal cultural re-engineering effort to make Walmart's various points of sale seamless and consumer-centric, and it remains to be seen whether a superstore-centric business model can make that sort of adjustment.

And here's the thing he seems not to be addressing: Amazon's huge advantage with its third-party Marketplace business, which is an ace in the hole when it comes to a competitive advantage. That is something that Walmart will have big problems trying to replicate or imitate.