A plucky Silicon Valley company, forced to compete for talented engineers, is trying it all – recruiting billboards on Highway 101; workplace perks like treadmill workstations and foosball tables; and conference rooms named after celebrities like Rihanna and Justin Bieber.
The name of that arriviste company?
The country’s largest retailer, which for years didn’t blink at would-be competitors, is now under such a threat from Amazon that it is frantically playing catch-up by learning the technology business, including starting @WalmartLabs, its dot-com headquarters.
The two retail behemoths, one the king of the physical store and the other the conqueror of the online world, are battling over e-commerce – competing for the most talented engineers, trying to gain the upper hand in the new frontier of same-day delivery and warring over online pricing.
They want to control not just internet shopping but all shopping. Even as Wal-Mart pours money into technology, Amazon is building a physical presence across the nation, adding warehouses and pickup locations. Both companies’ moves indicate that they believe the future of commerce is not stores and not online but a combination of the two.