Getting away from their core competency. Don't see it working. Down the road I think that WMT will pick up a lot of the current K-Mart customers. Lambert is running both K-Mart and Sears right into the ground.
It is indeed interesting. In Sam Walton's autobiography, "Made in America", he advises people to compete in areas that Walmart either doesn't do, or doesn't do well. That area gets smaller and smaller as Walmart gets more creative in moving into new areas.
Walmart has a huge moat and it is still in the growth phase of its business cycle. An UNbelievable business. They can afford to do quite a few dumb things (like maybe shift a little toward upscale customers) and get away with it. Maybe we'll see them also delve into shrimp farming like KO did in the 80's.
Peter Lynch says, invest in a business any idiot could run cause sooner or later any idiot is going to be running it. It seems that the only real threat to WMT is WMT themselves. Kmart never had anywhere near the moat WMT has now. I'm thinking the 1B Brk investment in WMT now will be incresing significantly very soon. I think i just talked myself into buying some.