Speaking with the Wall Street Journal, Walmart’s e-commerce chief Marc Lore discussed the importance of recent online acquisitions and Walmart’s ongoing plans to complete digitally.
After recently acquiring many online companies, including ShoeBuy, Bonobos, ModCloth and delivery company Parcel, Lore says Walmart is still on the hunt for companies that could best position it to succeed in e-commerce.
He also detailed the ways in which these acquisitions would operate under the Walmart brand. Lore says the company acquired retailers like ShoeBuy and Moosejaw for their “amazing assortment, amazing relationships with brands” and that Walmart will let those companies’ teams “basically run the category across the entire entity.”
Lore says he believes it’s important for the companies Walmart acquires to retain their own distinct brand.
Speaking about Moosejaw, a Walmart acquisition that specializes in outdoor recreation gear, Lore says customers already see that retailer as a leader in the outdoor category. He believes “a specialist positioning is more important than a mass-market one” for online shoppers.
Lore also previewed future online plans for Walmart to “elevate the brand.”
“It’s about bringing in a better, more unique, specialist assortment to the site,” he says. “We’re working on a couple of partnerships now that will be announced in the next few months to help bring an even more premium assortment onto the site.”
Walmart will also redesign its website in the coming months, focusing on “vertical experiences in both home and fashion” to help deliver a memorable online experience to customers.
Lore also discussed how the long-term online forecast looks for Walmart.
Responding to a survey that stated Walmart was not one of the companies many people expect to see succeed online in the next five years, Lore says the company is in a unique position to thrive, especially in food delivery services.
“It will be interesting to ask that question 50 years from now, or 20, because Walmart has some really unique assets that no one else has,” Lore says. “To date, we haven’t fully leveraged the scale of Walmart, specifically its 4,600 stores within 10 miles of 90 percent of the population. Fresh, frozen, over 100,000 general-merchandise SKUs are in that proximity.”