Jun 18, 2017—Industry experts have been saying for years that the sharp line between Internet-based and brick-and-mortar retailers would disappear, and that there eventually would just be "retail." This past August, Wal-Mart Stores agreed to acquire Jet.com, a fast-growing online retailer, for $3 billion. Then, last Friday, Amazon announced plans to buy Whole Foods Market, an upscale grocery chain, for $13.7 billion.
Many news reports played up the looming battle between the brick-and-mortar retail giant and the online retail giant. No doubt, there is competition between these two retailing behemoths—but the bigger picture is that these companies realized they needed to get into each other's space in order to remain relevant in the future.