Walmart to open web mall with Lord & Taylor as an anchor
Walmart may not be able to take down Amazon.com on its own, but perhaps it can accomplish the feat by banding with other retailers. That strategy, a Wall Street Journal report posits, may be behind the retail giant’s decision to carve out space on its website dedicated to Lord & Taylor.
A deal between the two retailers, which is not yet complete, is a step in the creation of an online mall that consumers would access through Walmart’s site. Walmart-owned brands, including Bonobos, Jet.com, ModCloth, Moosejaw and ShoeBuy, also seem likely to be included.
While Lord & Taylor and Walmart appear to have little in common, the Journal article sees the alliance as a continuation of steps taken by the world’s largest retailer to expand offerings to appeal to a wider swath of consumers, as evidenced by its recent acquisitions.
Walmart reported a 60 percent increase in e-commerce sales for the second quarter. CEO Doug McMillon credited an expanded assortment of products, aided by third-party sellers, on walmart.com. Mr. McMillon said the number of SKUs on the site “surpassed 67 million” during the period.
The retailer is also selling products through Google Express. Marc Lore, Walmart’s e-commerce chief for the U.S., spoke earlier this week at the Journal’s D.Live technology conference about the retailer’s customers ordering via voice-activated assistants such as Google Home. While admitting that many are not comfortable ordering by voice now, he suggested that advancements in artificial intelligence in the years to come will make the activity very much like speaking with an associate on the floor of a store.
Lord & Taylor, according to the Journal, is looking for its association with Walmart to help drive more consumers to its site. The department store’s site attracted an average of 849,000 unique visitors from February through July, compared to 79 million for walmart.com. Amazon averaged 160 million unique visitors a month during the same period.
- Wal-Mart’s Answer to Amazon? Its Own Web Mall – The Wall Street Journal
- Wal-Mart Stores’ CEO Douglas McMillon on Q2 2018 Results (Earnings Call Transcript) – Seeking Alpha
- E-commerce chief expects Walmart to ‘crush it’ over next two years – RetailWire
- Is Walmart on an unstoppable run? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you think Walmart will recruit other retailers to its web mall like it apparently is doing with Lord & Taylor? Will Lord & Taylor and Walmart benefit from cooperating with one another?