Analyst: Walmart ready for coming grocery wars

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Analyst: Walmart ready for coming grocery wars


BENTONVILLE, Ark. — The arrival of German discount grocer Lidl and Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods Markets have ratcheted up the already intense grocery wars and put new pressure on existing players, including Walmart. But one analyst thinks the discounter is well-positioned for the battle.

Groceries already account for more than 55% of Walmart's U.S. sales. And by adding to its portfolio in 2016, the chain has set itself up to go "toe-to-toe" with any competition — both offline and online — today, Oppenheimer & Co. analyst Rupesh Parikh said in a CNBC report.

The analyst said that Walmart's story as a retailer is “fresher than it's been in years.”

Walmart has made great strides in the grocery department recently and continues to evolve, reflected in the most recent shake-up of its food leadership team. Among the key changes: Shawn Baldwin, SVP and general merchandise manager for produce and global food sourcing, who will focus on a new initiative for Hispanic customers.

The company also has been building out its grocery delivery reach in California, according to a recent report in the Orange County Register. Walmart introduced grocery pickup in 26 stores across Inland Empire, Los Angeles and San Diego, bringing the total number of stores statewide offering the service to 36 locations. Each store will designate parking stalls for shoppers to retrieve their groceries, the report said. 

California’s stores join more than 800 Walmart's across the country that offer curbside pickup of groceries.