By Christine Kern, contributing writer
Concerted initiatives have done well, but much ground still needs to be covered.
Walmart CEO Marc Lore admits that the retail giant is still playing catch-up with Amazon as it implements its concerted ecommerce initiatives. At the Bloomberg Breakaway Summit in New York, Lore stated, “There are certainly areas where we are playing defense, and we’re behind and need to catch up. One example is the long-tail categories that we’re going after with acquisitions.”
As Innovative Retail Technologies reported, Retail giant Walmart has not been shy about its ecommerce initiatives in the past few years. With its acquisition of Jet.com in August of 2016 and a number of other retailers, Walmart is aggressively pursuing a larger chunk of the online marketplace to challenge Amazon’s supremacy. Walmart used Jet.com to help boost its offerings and challenge Amazon directly.
Lore also explained that the retailer’s recent slew of acquisitions (including women’s online apparel company Modcloth, outdoor e-retailer Moosejaw, online footwear site Shoebuy and soon reportedly online menswear site Bonobos) have helped Wal-Mart expand its assortment, Lore said.
Thanks to Wal-Mart’s immense store footprint and trucking fleet, it costs 75 cents to ship goods to a store and $5 to deliver it to a customer’s home, Lore said, which is why the company in April began offering discounts on a million items if they’re ordered online and shipped to store.
When asked about the future of brick-and-mortar retail, Lore was surprisingly optimistic, stating that the retail sector overall is “still fairly healthy” but that the current practices of steep discounting and online encroachment could mean the demise of some brick-and-mortar brands.
“There’s a chance that we will see some definitely not make it,” he said. “It’s not easy to change and adapt when things are moving really fast -- you have to stay on top of it, and not everybody is. People are changing the way they shop and companies that are able to adapt will do well and flourish. Those that don’t, won’t.”