Wal-Mart Stores, the 800-pound gorilla of retail, is running hard to catch up in an increasingly crucial segment where it is neither the biggest nor the best: e-commerce. The company, founded in 1962 by Sam Walton, has been gobbling up smaller and niche players in e-commerce in an effort to reach online shopping market leader Amazon. Wal-Mart has been doing some shopping of its own, in an effort to make up ground against Amazon. A bit more than half of all funds spent online in the United States now goes to Amazon, according to the bank Macquarie. Part of Amazon’s success stems from its breadth of offerings, which includes the Kindle that people use for reading and the Prime service that broadcasts popular television shows. It spent USD3.3 billion last year to buy Jet.com, which was started by e-commerce entrepreneur Marc Lore, whose previous company was sold to Amazon for USD550 million.