🛒 Amazon vs. Walmart

The Hustle

Early Friday morning, on Interstate 5 in Carlsbad, California, an armored truck busted open, spilling bills all over the freeway. Traffic stopped as folks ditched their cars to grab the cash and post TikToks of the event, which seemed cool at the moment (but less cool after it was announced they could face criminal charges).

Today’s rundown:

  • Walmart: How the ~$400B retailer is taking on Amazon.
  • Buy Nothing: Meet the online groups fighting inflation… by giving things away for free.
  • By the numbers: A $300k chicken, 29% of 13-year-olds, and a really rich dog.

Let’s do it.

The Big Idea

How Walmart is taking on Amazon

Remember Walmart?

It’s the ~$400B retailer seemingly left in the dust by a $1.9T behemoth called Amazon.

Turns out, things aren’t so bad

During its latest quarterly report, Walmart beat Wall Street expectations as “price sensitive grocery shoppers flocked to its stores amid rising costs for household staples,” per CNBC.

The Economist writes that a number of Harvard professors have been waxing lyrical about Walmart’s underrated prospects. The bullish signals come in 2 categories:

  • Expanding customer base: Walmart is attracting a more upscale demographic with its Prime-like loyalty program (Walmart+), American Express partnership, and DoorDash-like delivery service (offered in 900 cities)
  • Financials: Walmart is expanding its revenue streams by onboarding 3rd-party merchants into its distribution network and rolling out fintech solutions for customers (e.g. bill payment, crypto)

Don’t forget Walmart’s existing moat

Here’s a wild stat: 90% of Americans are within 10 miles of a Walmart and this availability will be increasingly valuable in a post-COVID world.

Walmart can’t sleep on its laurels, though. In 2018, Amazon passed it in distribution warehouse space and plans to build out another 140m square feet in coming years (more than Walmart has in the past 59 years).

Supply chain issues are a big test

But CNBC says Walmart is using its size to manage the obstacles by:

  • Negotiating with manufacturers
  • Bulking up its inventory
  • Chartering its own ships to move goods across the globe

Despite tight labor markets, Walmart added 200k employees to its roster in the 3 months ended September 2021, per The Economist.

Tally it all up and the retailer is well-placed to handle the holiday season. Now, it just has to deal with the internet memes that come from the People of Walmart website.

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Power of pets: Petco announced record net revenue of $1.4B in Q3, up 15% YoY. #ecommerce-retail

50 for 50: After adding Superchargers in Alaska, Tesla now has chargers in all 50 states. #clean-energy

No password, no problem: Stytch, an authentication platform with APIs that remove the need for passwords, raised $90m at a $1B valuation. #emerging-tech

Privacy booster: DuckDuckGo launched a new update allowing users to block ad-tracking in its Android app. #privacy

Winkelvi revenge: Gemini, the cryptocurrency exchange started by the Winklevoss twins, raised $400m at a $7.1B valuation to build an open metaverse outside of Facebook. #fintech-crypto

What could have been: Liberty Media’s John Malone claims he tried to acquire Netflix when it was $8 per share, but Reed Hastings wouldn’t sell. #big-tech

Inflation Hedge
broken money

One way to avoid inflation? Buy nothing

With inflation at a 31-year high, everything feels expensive. Case in point, in October:

  • Prices for apparel were up 4.3% YoY
  • Prices for living room, kitchen, and dining room furniture were up 13.1% YoY

But what if there was a way to get these items without paying crazy-high prices?

Enter ‘Buy Nothing’ groups

The groups, which are organized online (usually Facebook), are made up of members who give things away for free, per WSJ.

Items listed include everything from refrigerators to hair clippings (which, supposedly, were used to make a wig).

It all started…

… with the Buy Nothing project, which was founded in 2013 as a way to reduce the environmental harm of plastic waste.

The community grew steadily for years before seeing a massive growth spurt during the pandemic:

  • 2m new members joined between March 2020 and October 2021, and the group is on track to reach 5m members in 2022
  • The project now counts ~7k Buy Nothing communities worldwide

Beyond reducing waste, the groups give members a way to meet neighbors and cut back spending.

But ‘Buy Nothing’ groups can’t solve everything

Since the items available from other members are unpredictable, the odds of finding exactly what you’re looking for at the time you need it are low.

So while it may not be the best place to find the gifts on your holiday shopping list, it could be a viable option for a Yankee Swap.

Hot tip: We’ve heard from one member that Buy Nothing groups can be a great place to find free last-minute tickets for concerts and stand-up sets.

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Free Resource

8 elevator pitch ideas that crush

Be honest — is your elevator pitch corny?

Do you have an elevator pitch… Oh, Lord.

You never think you’ll need a tight script detailing your business and product offerings until you end up behind Justin Bieber at the airport. Steph missed out on that one.

8 quick-hitting templates for you, by HubSpot

Here are 8 fresh prompts for 1-minute pitches that just might turn a stranger into a Belieber. Treat them as fill-in-the-blank or inspiration.

Review the templates for examples and insights on giving personalized introductions with structure and spark.

Elevation pitch templates →

That’s one giant chicken (Source: 13WMAZ)

By the numbers: A $300k chicken, 29% of 13-year-olds, and a really rich dog

1) The fate of a $300k, 64-foot, 16-ton topiary chicken being built in Fitzgerald, Georgia, is at stake after the mayor leading its construction efforts (to promote tourism in the 9k-person town) lost reelection.

2) Between 1984 and 2020, the percentage of 13-year-olds who “never or hardly ever” read recreationally rose from 8% to 29%, and the percentage who read for fun daily dropped from 35% to 17%, according to a recent Pew survey.

3) Electricity is about to strike India. Around 70% of the country’s gas consumption comes from motor scooters. Today, electric versions comprise <1% of India’s scooter market but, by 2040, are expected to make up 74%.

4) Films with $20m+ budgets dedicated 5%-6.5% of their budget to COVID compliance, with 40% going to labor and 60% to materials.

5) Gunther, a German shepherd that inherited a ~$500m trust, technically owns a villa in Biscayne Bay, Florida, that just went up for sale at $31.75m.

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🧸 On this day: In 1995, “Toy Story,” the 1st computer-generated feature, premiered. The film stars Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear and Tom Hanks as Sheriff Woody, named after football player and actor Woody Strode.

🎧 Cure boredom: Every Noise at Once is a sprawling collection of music genres from around the world. A few examples include Turkish reggae, hauntology, bagpipe marching band, and new weird Finland.

💦 That’s interesting: Grantland explores the history of water parks in the US and the inventors of the tallest, fastest slides.

🎶 Art: To celebrate the 21st anniversaries of the albums “Kid A” and “Amnesiac,” Radiohead has released a free virtual exhibition available on Windows, Mac, and PS5.

🕰 Useful: Use this website to find out what time it is anywhere in the world — handy if you’re scheduling meetings with people in other time zones.

💋 Aww: And finally, a donkey who loves kisses.

Meme of the day
Walmart DVD bin

Source: iFunny

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