There is a sickness in brick and mortar retail, and we need to understand what is causing it. The latest earnings put out report by Walmart is a poignant indicator on why it has been aggressively pursing India's largest (or second largest, depending on whom you believe) e-commerce outfit, Flipkart. Most worryingly for Walmart, its e-commerce sales have begun declining, thanks to a slowdown in online orders, which is tantamount to death for an old-economy company trying to battle a new-economy retail leviathan that is Amazon. Walmart has been desperately trying to transform its loyal offline shoppers into online ones, because they apparently shell out twice as much and, as the Bloomberg article observes, gravitate toward bigger-ticket items. There are, of course, other obvious benefits toward beefing up its online presence: Reduced rents, working capital, and employee costs to name just a few.