Christmas Wars: Amazon vs. Wal-Mart

Tickers in this article: AMZN WMT GOOG

Walmart had a few other things I wanted, and I thought, let's just order them for pick-up. Two problems. The flag boxes they said were in-stock were only in-stock online, so they'll cost money to ship.

Also, they won't let me go to my favorite Walmart for pick-up of the other items, because that store is technically in another town. That's OK, as it turns out their favored store is actually closer to me than my favored store, by about two miles. Who knew?

I last compared these two merchants a few years ago, for another publisher. Walmart then was miles behind Amazon in all areas. Now the difference is measured in yards. Walmart is getting closer. And the rest of the field is fading away in the distance.

At the time of publication, the author was long GOOG. All purchases described in this story were real.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

2012 HOLIDAY GUIDE:

How to Survive (and Enjoy) the 2012 Holiday Season