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Food Stamps Help Walmart Fight Off Amazon

May 25, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
Food stamps give Walmart a distinct advantage over online rival Amazon. Food-stamp users are not allowed to use the money to buy online. In 2015, almost 46 million people used food stamps, with almost all food-stamp funds spent offline. Also, in 2015, about $70 billion spent on groceries and other goods using the U.S. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture revealed. Data from the government showed the Super Stores category, which includes Walmart, accounted for 47 percent of dollars spent with food stamps although they represent only 7 percent of total number of stores accepting SNAP payments. In 2013, Walmart estimated it accounted for 18 percent, or about $14 billion and about 4 percent of the retailer's total US revenue, of all food-stamp spending in 2012.
Shelly Banjo, "Walmart's Fleeting Advantage Over Amazon", Bloomberg Gadfly, May 25, 2016, © Bloomberg L. P.
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