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Walmart v. Amazon: UNT students voted, now it’s your turn

Retail powerhouses Walmart and Amazon are battling it out for the future of mass retail, and now the Economist is tasking college students nationwide with determining which company is the better investment option. The UNT community can participate by voting for Team Mean Green for the “People’s Choice” award and a $3,000 prize.

In the Economist’s 2016 Real Vision Investment Case Study, the newspaper challenged MBA students to answer the question, “Which stock would you choose to invest in if you couldn’t sell it for a decade?”

Choosing between Amazon and Walmart, three College of Business graduate students – Christopher Widmer, Jianfei (Jeffery) Pan and Paige McKone – analyzed and developed a detailed investment thesis outlining which company has the most promise. 

Their choice? Walmart.

“It’s certainly the superior long-term investment option over Amazon for both strategic and fundamental reasons,” said Widmer in a video pitch, adding that Walmart has the edge over traditional retailers in the U.S. and internationally. “Most importantly, Walmart’s ability to generate massive free cash flows allows it to invest in its e-commerce platform” for an omni-channel approach to retail.”

He noted that Amazon, lacking a brick-and-mortar location, would have to build a “physical footprint” to compete with Walmart’s ability to integrate web sales with in-store pickup, same-day delivery and e-commerce returns at the store. Along with Amazon’s pledges to expand into new markets and the need to fend off a growing list of competitors, the combination would be problematic for the e-retailer.

“It all may prove too much – even for Jeff Bezos – to accomplish,” Widmer said, referring to the founder and CEO of Amazon. “When all of this comes into play, we’re willing to bet that Walmart can build its digital network much faster than Amazon can build its physical network, which makes Walmart much more suitable for a 10-year holding period.”

The students are competing against 30 collegiate groups from throughout the U.S., which will be selected by judges for prizes up to $10,000.

In addition, the public can cast their vote for the “People’s Choice” award and a $3,000 prize. To vote online for Team Mean Green:

  • Visit the UNT team page to vote and view their video and written presentation
  • Click the red “Log in to vote” button and register.
  • Click the “Vote for the winner” button to cast your vote.

Fans with a registered email address can vote for their favorite team once per day. The winners will be announced in March. 

—Monique Bird, news promotions

Posted on: Tue 15 December 2015

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