Is the Amazon–Walmart Rivalry About to Spill Over into Israel?


Mar. 20 2018, Updated 9:00 a.m. ET

Walmart could help bring down the cost of living

The retail rivalry between Amazon (AMZN) and Walmart (WMT) could spill over into Israel. According to a Bloomberg report, Israel is encouraging Walmart to invest in the country partly because the entry of the low-cost retailer could help lower the cost of living for Israelis. One of the goals of the administration of Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is to lower the cost of living for the country’s citizens.

Israel is reportedly willing to ease regulations to attract more foreign investments, a move that may include tax cuts. Since the United States overhauled its tax code in December 2017, other countries have been mulling similar moves to stay attractive to overseas investors.

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Amazon is reportedly studying Israel’s retail conditions

In the case of Walmart, Israel wants the company to open a local retail operation and invest in local technologies.

Reports of Israel’s wooing Walmart come at a time when Amazon is also said to be preparing to enter Israel’s local retail industry. According to Israel’s financial newspaper Globes, Amazon has been studying Israel’s retail conditions to obtain information on issues ranging from trade conditions to competition.

Amazon’s initial launch in Israel’s retail industry could be a logistics center geared toward assisting local retailers in fulfilling orders. As a result, there’s been speculation about Amazon acquiring Teva Pharmaceuticals’ (TEVA) logistics hub in the town of Shoham.

Global push by e-commerce companies

But Walmart and Amazon are far from being the only e-commerce operators showing interest in deepening their overseas presence. Other e-commerce companies such as eBay (EBAY) and Alibaba (BABA) are also making global pushes, expanding in markets such as Japan and India.

Amazon registered a 38% YoY (year-over-year) rise in revenue in 4Q17. Revenue rose 4.1% YoY at Walmart in the same period.


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