U.S. Markets closed

Inside Walmart’s game-changing week

Walmart is bringing livestream shopping to TikTok, and will deliver groceries with autonomous trucks in 2021. Yahoo Finance’s Brian Sozzi shares the details.

Video Transcript

MYLES UDLAND: All right, welcome back to Yahoo Finance Live. Myles Udland here in New York on this Friday morning. All three majors are lower here. But if you take a look at shares of Walmart, we'll see that stock is up about one half of 1% in the early going on this Friday. And Brian Sozzi, it's been an eventful week for the company on a number of fronts.

BRIAN SOZZI: Right, Myles. And it very much, I think, has gone under the radar, given everything that's been going on in the world, but I think a very transformational week for Walmart. Earlier in the week, they noted they are going to start testing autonomous box truck deliveries near its home office with a company called Gatik that is specializing in these autonomous box trucks. That is very important.

You're not seeing this really being utilized anywhere in retail. But for the ability, at some point, to be shipping goods without having the need to have a human behind the wheel, and hire them and pay them accordingly, could be really transformational type of stuff and, ultimately, a good way to get products to people a lot faster and a lot more cost effective.

And then secondarily, one that will kick off today is TikTok and Walmart's partnership. There's going to be a Walmart live stream tonight at 8:00 PM where you will see TikTok influencers bringing their users inside of their closets for-- for apparel. And you know what? You can actually buy the apparel right off of that live stream and inside that TikTok universe.

And that is very important stuff. You're seeing Walmart, I think, start to widen its lead versus a lot of other retailers who are not even thinking about this stuff. One or two don't even have the financials to support initiatives like this. I don't think this is pie in the sky type of things by Walmart. I do expect them to move forward and try to see how they can take these initiatives at scale next year and beyond then.

JULIE HYMAN: It's really interesting, Brian, to see Walmart as the sort of cutting edge here because for a long time, it was trying to play catch up in e-commerce and this year really had gotten to a place where it had solidified its lead in e-commerce after investments for a lot of years. I want to say two things. One, on the live social selling, which is really a rising trend, and it's interesting to see them be on the cutting edge there. The other thing I want to mention was when you're talking about this box trucks, this anonymous box trucks trial in its home area, the advantage that Walmart has is that if you've ever been to Southwest Arkansas, like, Walmart owns that area, right?

BRIAN SOZZI: They own all of it, yep.

JULIE HYMAN: Not only do you have Walmart headquarters there, you have all the suppliers there, as well, that are there because of Walmart. So if it can do sort of a controlled experiment there, it really has a unique advantage in being able to do it in that area.

BRIAN SOZZI: And that's one of the benefits when you're a Walmart, you have this scale, you can do tests like this. I don't see these things happening at dying Macy's. One, because they've fired tons of people, and they don't have the brainpower internally to try and even test these items, and they certainly don't have the financials. So over time, see a company like Walmart widen its lead versus Macy's and I think a lot of other even discounters besides the department stores.

MYLES UDLAND: Well, and I mean, Sozzi, sad for Macy's. I don't even think Walmart really thinks about them anymore. Walmart is going after Facebook here. That's-- Facebook and Instagram are their main competition now. They have-- they don't even care what's happening on the department store side, because I think that fight is long and settled. All right.