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Wal-Mart Stores: Eyeing Amazon’s army of merchants

Wal-Mart Stores is anxious to find ways to compete with Amazon.com’s network of independent merchants, which sell millions of products on the online giant’s website. According to minutes obtained by Bloomberg News from a Feb. 1 officers’ meeting led by U.S. CEO Bill Simon, Walmart considers Amazon’s Marketplace platform the e-tailer’s “number one weapon.” Four years after starting its own version of Marketplace, Walmart has signed up only six outside merchants, compared with Amazon’s 2 million. A Walmart spokesman says its Marketplace “is a big part of our expansion.” The retailer continues to pour capital into physical stores, planning about 130 new supercenters in 2013.

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