NY Times: What Wal-Mart Knows about Customers’ Habits. It another of those Wal-Mart articles that creates both admiration and concern, such as Fast Company: The Wal-Mart You Don’t Know. Their vast amounts of data, more than twice the amount available on the internet, gives them the ability to see that demand for Pop-Tarts and beer will go up before a hurricane. They make sure there’s plenty in effected stores.
They are tough competitors and do so many things with brutal efficiency. We as consumers enjoy those low prices, while at the same worry about what else are we buying with Wal-Mart’s low prices. One view of the Sears/Kmart merger announced this week is that combining the two will create a stronger competitor to Wal-Mart (NY Times: Trying to Get Big Enough to Battle Wal-Mart).