Marc Lore wants to win.
Less than a year after Walmart Stores Inc. paid more than $3.3 billion in cash and stock for Lore’s e-commerce startup Jet.com Inc. and named Lore the president and CEO of Walmart eCommerce U.S., Lore is determined to make Walmart as formidable online as it is offline.
Walmart has a multipronged game plan to boost its online market share that includes building out the retailer’s online selection by rapidly adding more sellers to its online marketplace and embarking on a massive acquisition spree that, just this year, has included acquiring shoe retailer Shoebuy.com Inc., outdoor gear retailer Moosejaw and women’s apparel retailer ModCloth. (Walmart executives have said that more acquisitions are coming, and rumors are swirling that high-end men’s apparel retailer Bonobos could be next).
The retailer has also sought to one-up Lore’s former employer Amazon.com Inc. by shuttering Walmart’s Amazon Prime-like ShippingPass program and begun offering free two-day shipping (the same guarantee offered by Amazon for members who pay for the retailer’s Prime program) for orders above $35. At the same time, Walmart is embarking on a series of experiments that seek to connect the dots between its online and offline operations. For example, in April it launched Pickup Discount, which offers shoppers reduced prices on “several hundred thousand” items sold only online if they pick them up in a Walmart store. Walmart expects that selection to grow to more than 1 million SKUs by the end of this month.
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