Walmart is nearing a deal to add Lord & Taylor to its website as it looks to build an online offering that rivals Amazon. The plan is to turn walmart.com into an online mall that features high-end brands, with further deals believed to be in the pipeline.
The retailer’s online sales increased 63% in the first quarter, and then 60% in the second. And it expects the good times to continue into next year. In a press release announcing its new $20 billion share buyback authorisation, it touched on its 2019 outlook, including a 40% increase in online sales.
Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon said: “We have good momentum in the business, we’re executing our strategy and moving with speed to win with the customer, who is more connected than ever and embracing tools that will save them both time and money. We’re combining the accessibility of our stores with e-commerce to provide new and exciting ways for customers to shop.”
By the end of the second quarter, Walmart had over 67 million items available for sale on Walmart.com, up from 15 million at the same time last year, following a rise in third party merchants. It has also been working on increased convenience for customers, for instance, introducing Mobile Express Returns, allowing customers to use the retailer’s mobile app to return items at its stores. Wal-Mart is also circling free same-day delivery in New York as it steps up its battle with Amazon for the hearts and minds of ever demanding multi-channel customers.