According to the Wall Street Journal, Walmart is poised to clinch a deal with Lord & Taylor, the upmarket department store in New York that is owned by the Hudson’s Bay Company.
Citing people familiar with the matter, the Journal reported that Lord & Taylor will be allowed to sell its high-end products on walmart.com, so creating an “online mall” for luxury and designer brands.
Other retailers that could join the initiative include Jet.com and clothing store Bonobos, which Walmart acquired last year, as well as other traditional chains.
The Journal’s sources further revealed that, while walmart.com would allocate dedicated space to Lord & Taylor, the department store would continue to operate its own website.
However, shoppers ordering from lordandtaylor.com would be able to collect and return items at Walmart’s extensive portfolio of 4,700 stores in the US.
The development is all part of Walmart’s strategy of increasing its e-commerce presence in a challenge to Amazon, but also to make the retailer more attractive to premium shoppers.
Walmart’s reputation for discounting has previously put off high-end brands from teaming up with the company, but it appears the threat posed by Amazon is encouraging them to change their minds.
For Lord & Taylor, the association should give it extra reach and traffic, and it comes as sales at Hudson Bay’s department store group, which includes Lord & Taylor, declined last quarter.
The Journal concluded that Walmart is “framing itself as the only e-commerce operation that will be able to challenge Amazon directly”, even though measurement firm comScore has estimated that its website receives only half as many shoppers as Amazon.
Sourced from Wall Street Journal; additional content by WARC staff