Issue Date: 2018 FEBRUARY, Posted On: 2/23/2018

02/23/2018 Walmart To Launch New Online Home Shopping Site
Lisa Vincenti

In the coming weeks, Walmart will unveil its completely renovated online home furnishings site.

BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Big box retailer Walmart is revamping its online home furnishings strategy with the launch later this year of an overhauled online home furnishings destination focused on inspirational lifestyles, the company announced Thursday.

"Walmart's mission is to be the destination for customers no matter how they want to shop or what they want to shop for," said the recently appointed Anthony Soohoo, SVP and group general manager, home, Walmart U.S. e-commerce, stated. "And, as a mass retailer, we know that customers shop differently across categories. Some categories are more transactional, like groceries and consumables, while others are more inspirational, like apparel and home."

"Today, we're doubling down on the latter and unveiling a new digital shopping experience aligned with how customers naturally shop for home products."

Walmart's new online home furnishings site will present several lifestyles for shoppers to browse.

Walmart's home shopping site will include curated collections and nine shop-by-style options including modern, mid-century, traditional, glam, industrial, bohemian, farmhouse, transitional and Scandinavian. In addition, the site will also offer design tips to help shoppers pull items together.

The move is part of the world's largest retailer's broader strategy to redesign the focus of its e-commerce segment on fashion and home furnishings in an effort to compete with Amazon.com. In fact, online sales at Walmart are still a small fraction -- four percent -- of its roughly $500 billion in annual revenues. Amazon reached a record high of 177.9 billion in sales in 2017 and has been aggressively chipping away at Walmart's traditional business, especially among younger shoppers.

What's more, Amazon which entered the grocery business with the acquisition of Whole Foods, has been introducing its own private label goods into the home furnishings category, and signed a deal with Ethan Allen last year to sell its sofas, lamps and rugs, and Amazon shoppers can ask Ethan Allen experts for design advice.

Walmart's new shopping site will allow the company to showcase its own private label goods and Walmart-exclusive brands, like Mainstays, Better Homes and Gardens and Pioneer Woman. Later this spring, Walmart is expecting to roll out its new Lord & Taylor dedicated page as part of its partnership with the department store chain's parent company Hudson's Bay.

"With this launch, we're making it faster, easier and more inspiring for customers to discover the best of our assortment no matter their personal style," Soohoo continued.

Other changes to the revamped Walmart site, in addition to the shop-by-style option, include a home destination page that features curated collections guided by design trends and in-house stylists, and editorial-style imagery and design tips that will enable customers to discover different styles and how to pull together a complete look.

"The experience will roll out over the coming weeks and will offer the first glimpse of our broader Walmart.com redesign, which will launch later this year," Soohoo added. "Over the past year, we've nearly doubled our home assortment and introduced a wide variety of furniture and home decor items, like a new Scandinavian line of furniture for kids and refreshed assortment of modern furniture. Now, it is going to be that much easier for customers to shop these items and more. Home is where the heart is, after all."

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