Press Scan - Walmart
Some recent and unique articles surrounding Walmart and the brands they carry include articles on Walmart's launch of voice shopping on Apple, its unveiling of MoDRN, piloting of AV with Gatik AI, Capital One/Walmart credit cards, the return of the Scoop brand, selling NFL gears, partnering with Kidbox, and Lord & Taylor, launch of Earth to Skin and ModCloth expanding its Fitshops. These have been explained below.
1. Walmart Launches Voice Shopping on Apple
- Recently, Walmart, in partnership with Apple, launched "Siri shortcut for online grocery." This allows customers to talk to Siri with a view to adding items to their grocery cart. Customers are required to use the Walmart grocery app then select "voice shopping." Upon completing that step, customers would then say "add to Walmart."
- Some players in the retail industry are of the view that voice shopping is still new to the market and has not gained the full attention of customers as yet. In fact, some customers still prefer to sit in front of their computers and make their orders.
2. Walmart Unveils MoDRN
- One of the furniture brands carried by Walmart is MoDRN. This was unveiled in early 2019 and includes three categories, refined industrial, retro glam and Scandinavian minimal. MoDRN will carry 650 items ranging from $20 to $899. The items will be available on the websites of Jet, Walmart and Hayneedle.
- Some believe that this move by Walmart demonstrates that the brand has been focusing on its e-commerce arm. It is also the view that focusing on home furnishings has been front and center for major retailers as some now offer private labels. Therefore, Walmart is following in that trend.
3. Walmart Begins Pilot with Gatik
- Walmart has entered into a partnership with Gatik AI. The autonomous vehicle startup has been approved by the Arkansas Highway Patrol to provide a commercial service to Walmart who is now delivering online grocery orders to Walmart customers. The AV brand has agreed to travel every day on a route that is two miles long with a view to providing Walmart with data to help them incorporate AVs into their stores.
- According to Retail Dive, "autonomous B2B deliveries could be a major operational advantage." This will help Walmart transport their groceries between stores and warehouses.
4. Capital One and Walmart Credit Cards
- Capital One and Walmart have recently announced and launched two new credit cards branded by both companies. The credit cards have no annual fee and will provide 5% cashback on purchases made on Walmart's website. One of the cards is a Rewards Mastercard and the other is a rewards card.
- Retail Dive is of the view that the partnership is in an effort to keep up with consumer expectations and behaviors. They believe that this move by Walmart could grab consumers who usually spend with the cards. However, they are uncertain about how this partnership will attract younger shoppers.
5. Walmart brings back the Scoop Brand
- Walmart announced its intentions to bring back, as its own, the NYC fashion brand, Scoop. The new Walmart "in-house" brand will build on the company's plans for the fashion sector. Walmart will sell over 100 fashion pieces under this brand at more affordable prices and in various sizes.
- It is a viewpoint of some in the industry that this move is part of a "broader push" by Walmart. The retailer is seen as the number one clothes seller, however, in 2018, they were almost dethroned by Amazon.
6. Walmart sells NFL Gears
- Since January 2019, Walmart has begun selling Fanatics gears. These are primarily available on its website and include NFL jerseys, merchandise from Nike, NBA T-Shirts and other sportswear.
- The Retail Dive is of the view that partnering with Fanatics is a great way to reach a vast number of customers. However, Fanatics has contracts with major players such as Nike and the National Footbal League, therefore, its loyalty is not with Walmart.
7. Walmart Partners with Kidbox
- Walmart announced its partnership with Kidbox in April 2019. In this deal, Kidbox will provide children's fashion items in a box to Walmart's online shoppers. These items will generally cost $48 or half of its bundled retail prices and will range from size 0 to 14 for girls and 0 to 16 for boys.
- For Retail Dive, it is not easy to tell which is less like the Walmart brand, the inefficient "box-based subscription service" or the premium brands sold through the service. They believe that these kinds of service do not have a healthy track record as almost 40% of subscribers of this or any other service usually cancel.
8. Walmart and Lord & Taylor Partnership
- Approximately 18 months ago, Walmart partnered with Lord & Taylor. The aim was to attract high-end shoppers to Walmart online and new customers to both brands. In this deal, Lord & Taylor had the ability to ship purchases under its name and sell its brand in Walmart stores at the same prices.
- According to Forbes, it has been puzzling to many why Walmart would open a Lord & Taylor Flagship store on its website. They are of the view that the move made no sense in 2018 when they first made the announcement and certainly not now that they have gone ahead with the pans.
- For them, there were flaws such as the fact that people do not buy things digitally the same way they do physically, and the L&T brand was losing its relevance. Forbes notes that shoppers on the Walmart website will not just wonder over to the L&T online store while they are on Walmart's page.
9. Walmart Launched Skincare Line
- Dubbed Earth to Skin, is Walmart's recently launched private label in skincare, which includes toners, cleansers, serums, and creams. The line includes four collections such as super greens, super fruits'bee infused, and tea time. This line is touted as being free of parabens, mineral oils, petrolatum, sulfates, gluten, phthalates, and animal testing.
- Retail Dive believes that this is a strategic move on the part of Walmart as the skincare category has been very active recently with brands such Birchbox and FabFitFun creating new products and department stores changing their beauty departments.
- Based on one customer's review, they had no expectation of the skincare line given the price. However, having worn the product for a week, their skin feels more moisturized and brighter.
10. ModCloth expands "Fitshop"
- The Walmart-owned brand is expanding its "Fitshop" stores from two to five and then to eight. This will mean that places such as New York, Los Angeles, Washington, and San Francisco will have one by the end of 2019.
- According to Retail Dive, this showroom model is a "win-win" for customers and retailers. Since there is reduced inventory, there is the opportunity to lease smaller spaces which would be useful in major urban areas. They are of the view that more space can be used as lounge areas and dedicated to services as they help to build relationships with customers.
For this research, we did extensive searching for suitable news articles from Walmart. We reviewed each article this ensuring that they were recent, and surrounded the brands they carry, deals done, offerings provided, and included actions taken by the company in the last 12-18 months. We then dug deeper into each article, looking for sentiments from players in the industry whether consumers, marketers or critics. All areas of the research have been addressed.