The Associated Press has a story about how some retailers not named Amazon or Walmart actually are choosing sides between the two giant retailers, creating strategic alliances that they hope will serve their own interests in the immediate future.

Retailers of various kinds - including Kohl’s, Nike, Best Buy and Sears - have decided that it makes sense to figure out ways to work with Amazon, ranging from offering small Amazon-centric sections of their stores (which is what Kohl’s has done) to “teaming up with Amazon for voice shopping” (Best Buy). “as Amazon moves even further into fashion, home electronics and grocery stores, and cements shopper loyalty with its $99-a-year Prime membership, stores are developing partnerships with the online retailer to increase customer traffic or expand their offerings online,” the story says.

At the same time, the AP writes, “Walmart, which has the most store locations, is assembling a coalition of its own: buying smaller online brands and becoming the highest-profile partner to Google in voice shopping. And the discount chain that touts low prices announced a web partnership Monday with high-end department store Lord & Taylor.” In the case of the latter, Lord & Taylor's president Liz Rodbell says “the arrangement with Walmart allows the chain to attract new customers who already are buying higher-end products on Walmart.com. She called the partnership ‘a pivotal moment’ for the retailer. It comes after the chain's parent company announced last month it was selling its New York flagship building to WeWork and leasing back a portion of the space.”

KC's View: It is interesting that as some retailers creating dotted-line connections between themselves and the two retail behemoths, there simultaneously is a blurring of competitive lines between them.

I suspect that these ventures could be a little treacherous, like sleeping with the enemy. But the idea of strange bedfellows goes back at least to William Shakespeare, who wrote, in “The Tempest,” that "misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows.”

Which sort of says pretty much everything you need to know about the motivations here.

It may be that they’re thinking of another line that Shakespeare wrote, in “Hamlet:”

"We know what we are but know not what we may be.”