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Walmart Stays Firm in the Game, Expands Alliance With Handy

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Walmart Inc.WMT , which has long been taking sturdy e-commerce initiatives to counter Amazon's AMZN growing dominance, is also focused on enhancing store services to customers. This is evident from the expansion of its alliance with household services provider - Handy. Well, sources revealed that Walmart is extending its agreement with Handy, which will let customers hire helpers at about 2,000 Walmart stores to install or assemble their purchases of television and furniture.

Per the sources, Walmart has already rolled out Handy's services at 25 stores in Atlanta, and plans to increase it to nearly 2,000 stores across the United States by April. With this, customers will not only buy TV's and furniture, but can also enjoy seamless installation and assembling services, by simply scheduling an appointment (between 7 am to 11 pm) during checkout.

This deal is aimed at solving issues related to installation and assembling, which in turn is expected to enrich consumers overall shopping experience. With online shopping and services having become the order of the day, retailers are bound to undertake measures to buck up and offer something different in stores in order to attract traffic and stay strong amid a competitive retail landscape.

In fact, companies like Best Buy BBY have also taken similar steps to improve customers' services at home. As for Walmart - while the company has been trying all means to bolster its e-commerce business, this move highlights the big box retailer's focus on stores. The company is trying every means to evolve with the changing consumer environment to compete with brick-and-mortar rivals as well as the e-commerce king Amazon.

This is evident from its transition from Wal-Mart Stores to Walmart - in a bid to officially emerge an omni-channel retailer. In this regard, the company has been taking several e-commerce initiatives, including buyouts, alliances, and improved delivery and payment systems.Most recently, the company inked a deal with Rakuten to sell online groceries in Japan as well as e-books and audiobooks in the United States. Apart from this, Walmart's buyouts of ShoeBuy, Moosejaw, Bonobos, ModCloth and Jet.com, and deal with Lord and Taylor underscore its quest to build an impressive digital brand portfolio.

The company's Walmart Pay mobile payment system, Mobile Express Returns program and efforts to enhance checkout process further highlight its focus on accelerating online business and making shopping easier and faster. Apart from this, Walmart is making aggressive efforts to expand in the booming online grocery space, as part of which it is making constant moves to improve delivery services.

Apart from Walmart, major retail bellwethers such as Kroger KR are also taking incessant strides to improve online grocery services and stay firm in an Amazon-dominated retail world. Moving back to Walmart, we believe that its growth strategies like the aforementioned pact with Handy clearly highlight its efforts to exploit nook and cranny of the retail space and reinforce its competitive flair against Amazon.

Notably, these splendid endeavors have helped this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company surge 25.1% in a year, surpassing the industry 's rise of 19.1%. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks (Strong Buy) here .

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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