“Who’s next?” may be the basic, unsettling premise of a horror movie, but it’s also a game that many observers are gleefully playing when it comes to the acquisition plans of both Walmart and Amazon, which each made headlines with major purchases last year. Walmart’s play has been mostly to build up its e-commerce retail, though the purchase of Parcel shows that it also aims to bring on tech and talent in last-mile delivery.
So far, the prognostications have been off. In August there was speculation that the retailer might grab beauty subscription service Birchbox, but that hasn’t happened and didn’t make CB Insights’ list. Neither has Nordstrom, which made location intelligence company Foursquare’s summer list of possible Walmart targets, along with beauty brick-and-mortar retailer Ulta Beauty and eyewear startup Warby Parker.