In its ongoing fierce e-commerce battle with Amazon, Walmart has launched a new home shopping vertical on its website to better highlight products like furniture, accessories and other decorative items.
Playing into the Instagram-quality of many home furnishing sites, Walmart's site feature curated collections across nine style categories, including modern, mid-century, traditional, glam, industrial, bohemian, farmhouse, transitional and Scandinavian; it also uses editorial-style imagery and will include design tips written by in-house staff.
This follows Walmart’s reorganization of its Home group division, announced last year, which included two new executive appointments; Anthony Soohoo, previously the chief executive at home furnishings brand Dot & Bo, became senior vice president and general manager of the Home group across all U.S. e-commerce retail within Walmart.com, Hayneedle and Jet.com. Additionally, Scott Doughman became Hayneedle’s president.“As the head of Home for Walmart U.S. eCommerce, and admittedly design-obsessed, I’m personally excited about the changes we’re making to help our customers shop the high-quality, on-trend and, of course, affordable home assortment we offer on Walmart.com,” said Soohoo, in a statement about the launch.
The new site will go live on Walmart.com across web and mobile as a gradual rollout over the next few weeks, under the Home category.
Home furnishings have become a popular target for e-commerce giants. Amazon recently launched its first home furnishing lines in November. Target has also expanded its home goods sections, with brands like Threshold, Project 62, Hearth & Hand with Magnolia, and most recently the eclectic brand called Opalhouse. Walmart's new Home shopping site will showcase Walmart’s own private label and Walmart-exclusive brands, like Mainstays, Better Homes and Gardens and Pioneer Woman.
The aim in all of this will is to help buoy a business that has been facing an innovator's dilemma across several verticals, including fashion and e-commerce. Walmart previously acquired Jet.com and Bonobos, in addition to establishing startup incubator Store No.8 in an attempt to bolster these divisions. But the retail juggernaut still slipped in the fourth quarter after misjudging its online inventory for the holiday season, causing its stock to fall more than 10% -- the biggest one-day drop in stock price since 1988 for the world’s largest retailer -- representing a cut of more than $31 billion from its market capitalization, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Emma Sandler - Forbes.com
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