Is Walmart about to launch a new British invasion?

Discussion
Photos: Walmart; Getty Images/Ramberg
Jun 14, 2022

Walmart is looking to bring goods from U.K. exporters to consumers in the U.S.

The retailer has begun what it calls “a major push” to bring these sellers to its online marketplace. Walmart said its recruiting drive is seeking to build on the company’s decades-long engagement, most notably with its 1999 acquisition of Asda. The retailer in 2021 sold most of its stake in the British grocer to the Issa Brothers and TDR Capital.

Walmart has put an onboarding plan in place with a dedicated team to facilitate making the jump across the Atlantic to serve American customers. Walmart says it will give the sellers “the opportunity to get their goods to U.S. customers within two days” in the contiguous U.S., although the option will not be guaranteed between September and January.

“We are confident that U.K. sellers will be able to leverage Britain’s reputation for design and manufacturing excellence and product quality to thrive as Marketplace sellers and bring more choice to our U.S. customers with speed and scale,” Darren Carithers, senior vice president of marketplace development for Walmart International, said in a statement.

UK exporters will have access to Walmart Fulfillment Services and the retailer’s supply chain infrastructure. Third-party sellers will also have the opportunity to access Walmart’s platform tools to optimize processes, identify market opportunities and manage promotions.

Walmart has already recruited some key U.K. companies to its marketplace: STATSports, which makes wearable tech products for people participating in sports; BuyBox, home and garden products and; Nodor, manufacturer of Red Dragon darts and other sporting equipment.

Pertemba, which exports products to 18 countries worldwide, is another British exporter that will sell on walmart.com.

We’ve been exporting to the world since 2009. Today we sell on around 60 e-commerce marketplaces, big and small,” said Ravi Karia, managing director of Pertemba. “Walmart Marketplace stands out for us for being easy to do business on, bringing us huge exposure and steady sales growth. I’d advise sellers to take advantage of how simple it is to list on the Marketplace to bring their full catalog and to explore Walmart Fulfillment Services.”

Walmart is hosting a U.K. Sellers Summit in London on June 17 to recruit new vendors. Payoneer and Linnworks are hosting the summit with the retailer and offering services to help smooth the cross-border transition.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What is your take on Walmart’s recruitment of UK sellers and its onboarding process? Do you expect Walmart to use its international connections to do something similar in other markets where it does business?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"I believe Walmart will offer the same service to other markets as this is a fantastic offering, opening up the world to U.S. shoppers with a reasonable delivery window."
"Not only does this move bring greater variety to the U.S market, but it also imports merchandise from an area closer to the U.S. That must be part of the calculus."
"It perhaps suggests that Walmart is struggling to attract as many U.S. sellers as it would like and/or wants to diversify and do something slightly different than Amazon."

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7 Comments on "Is Walmart about to launch a new British invasion?"


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Neil Saunders
BrainTrust

While this isn’t a terrible idea – and I am sure there are some great niche British suppliers Walmart can bring onto its marketplace – it strikes me as a bit of a convoluted way of growing the marketplace. It perhaps suggests that Walmart is struggling to attract as many U.S. sellers as it would like and/or wants to diversify and do something slightly different than Amazon. All that said, I still find the Walmart marketplace a bit of a mess. They really need to focus on making the shopping experience better if they want to compete more effectively.

Cathy Hotka
BrainTrust

Not only does this move bring greater variety to the U.S market, but it also imports merchandise from an area closer to the U.S. That must be part of the calculus.

Ken Morris
BrainTrust

Brexit has disrupted UK supply chains as much as COVID-19, so it’s no wonder Walmart is tapping into this eager vein of suppliers. It’s as if a whole new world has opened up to these UK suppliers. I expect they’ll be signing up with Walmart in droves. Let’s see which goods actually gain massive sell-through!

I believe Walmart will offer the same service to other markets as this is a fantastic offering, opening up the world to U.S. shoppers with a reasonable delivery window.

Rich Kizer
BrainTrust

I don’t completely get Walmart’s logic on this one. I think that when things go askew in retail, retailers go hunting for ideas that might solve problems. And it might be a brilliant move.

Kai Clarke
BrainTrust

Where is the problem that Walmart is trying to solve with this increased focus? The U.S. is awash as a global market and just offering the U.S. consumer exposure to UK retailers doesn’t really offer much value. There are hundreds of UK manufacturers who sell their goods here in the U.S. already, and offering the UK retailer another channel to sell their goods here doesn’t seem to offer much value to the U.S. consumer or the UK retailer.

Brian Delp
BrainTrust
20 days 4 hours ago

This is a great initiative and a unique strategy to add more fuel to WM’s growing marketplace. It will also help to elevate the perception of WM’s fashion as European trends tend to be ahead of the curve so this could attract the more fashion forward consumer. The current conversion rate should also make this much more accessible than prior years.

Oliver Guy
BrainTrust

This will be an interesting one to watch. Certainly pro-Brexit politicians will look to see if initiatives like this can yield political capital. It also may be used as an example to aid discussions around free trade.
If this is a longer-term, wider strategy, starting first in the UK may be driven by a perception that they can iron out any issues easier due to a common language.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"I believe Walmart will offer the same service to other markets as this is a fantastic offering, opening up the world to U.S. shoppers with a reasonable delivery window."
"Not only does this move bring greater variety to the U.S market, but it also imports merchandise from an area closer to the U.S. That must be part of the calculus."
"It perhaps suggests that Walmart is struggling to attract as many U.S. sellers as it would like and/or wants to diversify and do something slightly different than Amazon."

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