Walmart, that's who. It's hard to believe, but the biggest retailer in the world fears the potential physical presence of Amazon, should it choose to expand into bricks-and-mortar locations.
John Fleming, Walmart's executive vice-president and chief merchandising officer, described the scenario his company is afraid of -- Amazon opening locations in dense urban areas close to consumers, allowing for immediate pick up, instead of having to wait for delivery – at the Fashion Group International's economic outlook seminar on Wednesday.
"It's a threat. It's a problem," he said.
Given that Amazon seems to carry everything Walmart carries, and then some, would be a problem. And even more of a threat, the fact that Amazon could then deliver product in a day or so would put fear into any savvy retailer.
With the almost-immediate fulfillment and the enormous warehousing that has to exist in order to stock and deliver this service, how could Amazon possibly duplicate it in a physical store?
Another member of the FGI panel, Carl Steidtmann, chief economist at Deloitte Research agreed. "Why would Amazon burden themselves?"
Amazon did not return emails for comment.