Wal-Mart's Web: Chain Woos Net Shoppers

By 1996, The Financial Times | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), February 13, 1996 | Go to article overview

Wal-Mart's Web: Chain Woos Net Shoppers


1996, The Financial Times, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, plans to launch into on-line shopping, with an electronic store on the Internet using software under development by Microsoft.

Wal-Mart Online, allowing shoppers to browse through the group's product range and place orders on-line, is expected to be launched by late spring.

"We are hoping to lead the pack in electronic retailing, and lead on price, just as we do in our stores," a Wal-Mart Stores Inc. spokesman said Monday.

Although there are several hundred shopping "malls" and sites on the Internet, their turnover remains small, estimated at less than $300 million last year, compared with the $57 billion sales through traditional mail order catalogs in the United States alone.

But analysts believe the entry into the market of Wal-Mart could accelerate the growth of online shopping - already forecast to grow to several billion dollars a year by 2000.

Wal-Mart's choice of Internet shopping software represents a coup for Microsoft Corp., which is mounting an assault on the Internet software market, dominated by Netscape Communications Corp. …

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