Walmart Getting Desperate in Struggle to Play Catch-up with Amazon?

Despite Walmart’s efforts to innovate, former Walmart (NYSE:WMT) US CEO Bill Simon says the retail chain is struggling to keep up with online retailers, telling the FOX Business Network’s Charles Payne, “They are playing catch-up to a certain extent with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN).”

Simon notes that when retailers such as Walmart stick to their core competencies, they remain highly competitive.

“Good retailers are still doing really well, Costco (NASDAQ:COST), Aldi, the dollar stores to a certain extent are still doing really well.  And Walmart’s really, really good at price and assortment.  And every time they do that well, they’re successful.”

But Simon argues Walmart has been far less successful in attempts to change its formula to target competitors.

"When they stray from it, they run into trouble. Several years ago we eliminated a lot of SKU’s with an obsession for Target (NYSE:TGT) and the dollar stores sucked up that volume and that was really their resurgence and today, you know, you’ve got Aldi and now Lidl entering the country on the value grocery segment and Walmart needs to be careful too because they’re going to get flanked on that end as well.”

Despite retail executives speaking out against a potential border tax, Simon sees it as a potential benefit to the US economy.

“Brick-and-mortar CEOs today are obligated because of their fiduciary responsibility to tell you that they don’t like it, they’ll do the analysis and based on the rules that are set up today, they won’t like it.  But in the end, we can’t live in a system that incents our companies to invest offshore and leave the money over there and to only import products."