It’s been a struggle for Amazon competitors, reports Tech Crunch. Canada’s has declared bankruptcy and launches a fire sale and, with it’s pre-hype launch, is reportedly in talks with Wal-Mart regarding its acquisition.

A Wal-Mart exit isn’t the upstart victory against an industry giant, but it is more like the two survivors of a nuclear apocalypse meeting on the wasteland and pooling resources to get a few more days of survival.

Wal-Mart is lagging behind Amazon with line sales, and despite gains in the cross-over business like online purchase of groceries with retail pickup, that’s not enough to go against Amazon in terms of overall online footprint.

Amazon owning a massive 38% share of the consumer ecommerce market in the US – a lead that’s only growing.

However, there is some degree of hope among alternative models, provided that these models integrate Amazon’s dominance. For example, Shopify reported earnings and impressed investors with 93% revenue growth vs the year-ago quarter. A key factor in this success is the fact that Shopify’s first integrated marketplace channel, Amazon, is in advanced beta testing and headed for a full launch at the end of this year.

The retail trend unfolding within the next few years will be going on Amazon to buy mainstream and go boutique for everything else.

This will only be the case if small and medium sized players can continue to co-exist with, rather than be consumed by Amazon. As long as Shopfy’s earnings are a decent reflection of the health of the more modestly-sized end of the consumer ecommerce market.

A version of this appeared in Tech Crunch on August 3. Read the full version here.