The empire strikes back?

Star Wars –the most successful epic space opera franchise ever;  also happens to be my favorite movie series!

It was so ahead of its time it is said George Lucas the creator had to start a special effects company IL&M (Industry Lights & Magic) to realize his vision!

“The Empire Strikes Back“ the second of the six main Star Wars films is said to be the most popular and also the most critically acclaimed. This is the part where the Galactic Empire lead by Darth Vader gets their act together to hit back at the Rebel Alliance lead by Princes Leia and Luke Skywalker.

Year 1995:

  • Wal-Mart  already a gigantic corporation raking in $93.6 billion with 675,000 associates.
  • Internet had 16 million people users – expected to double the following year.
  • The cost of PC had reduced that it was affordable for people to start buying them for home use.
  • Jeff Bezos launched Amazon.com with initial funding of $ 100,000.

Not too long ago:

  • Growth in retail  firmly moves to on-line.
  • Amazon grew rapidly to become the world’s largest online retailer in the process wiping out several large retailers.
  • Wal-Mart grew to become undisputed world leader in the retail. However on-line retail continues to be an area of concern.

2012 – till now:

  • Wal-Mart hires Neil Ashe to lead their Global eCommerce the division that runs their online business.
  • Wal-Mart opens battles for on-line business on several fronts by merging online, offline and mobile commerce:
    • Rolled out a mobile app that puts its store on customer’s smart phones with significantly enhanced self-check-out.
    • Testing same day delivery service based on learning’s from ASDA, its UK subsidiary.
    • Setup technology centers across the globe to crunch its massive customer database.
    • Allows customers to buy on-line and take delivery from a store near to them.
  • Wal-Mart’s on-line revenue is expected to $9 billion tiny compared to Amazon’s $75 billion.
  • Amazon is investing in building required infrastructure to provide same day delivery.

The war is far from over.  Both are striking and striving to win more.  In the case of Wal-Mart getting the right leader for its on-line business seems to be working.

Coming back to the movie – there is a clear distinction between Rebel Alliance and Galactic Empire.

In the world of retail the question is: Who is who?

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