Walmart Inc. plans to go upscale when it launches a Lord & Taylor-branded section of Walmart.com in the next few weeks.
Walmart plans to prominently feature the Lord & Taylor-branded section on the recently redesigned Walmart.com. The section will debut with more than 125 upscale fashion brands, including Tommy Bahama, Vince Camuto, La La Anthony, Lucky Brand, Miss Selfridge, Effy and H Halston.
“Lord & Taylor has great brands that will help us expand the assortment on Walmart.com,” says a Walmart spokesperson. “They are a key step as we work to establish Walmart.com as a fashion destination.”
The retail giant announced it was adding Lord & Taylor products last November with no defined details of their long-term relationship plans. A spokesperson for Walmart still declined to reveal specifics about its partnership agreement.
On the newly designed site, Walmart’s apparel section is designated into two categories: Everyday Brands and Premium Brands. Lord & Taylor will be on the premium section with a “Premium Brands from Lord & Taylor” header running across each premium brand page.
Walmart, No. 3 in the Internet Retailer 2018 Top 1000, is focused on growing its apparel assortment and will be regularly adding new brands and products to these shops, the retailer says. Lord & Taylor orders over $35 will be eligible for free two-day shipping, just like the rest of Walmart.com’s products. Lord & Taylor will fulfill all orders placed on its flagship store on Walmart.com, the Walmart spokesperson says.
“The new [fashion shopping] experience is aligned with how customers shop the category, with editorial elements that inspire customers to browse and buy, and has already generated positive customer response,” says Denise Incandela, head of fashion, Walmart U.S. e-commerce.
“If this move brings a sizable change in their fashion business, we may see Walmart repeating this initiative in other segments. If they have a marginal, but positive impact, it wouldn’t be strange for us to see Walmart concentrating offerings from hundreds of other brands,” says Diego Tartara, chief technology officer, Latin America, Globant. “Now, we just have to see what consumers say.”
Walmart’s website overhaul and partnership with Lord & Taylor—in addition to its acquisition of Bonobos and ModCloth—are all part of Walmart’s commitment to combat Amazon.com Inc. (No. 1) by enticing shoppers with more high-end brands and fashion options and exposing the retailer to a more affluent audience. At an October 2017 investor meeting, Walmart’s president and CEO Marc Lore pledged to “elevate the Walmart.com brand” to lure more premium sellers to the site.
A 2017 Internet Retailer analysis of Walmart’s acquisitions of Jet.com, Moosejaw, Shoebuy.com Inc., ModCloth and Bonobos, found that, as a group, the acquired businesses’ audiences had higher incomes and more education than average visitors to Walmart.com.
For Lord & Taylor’s Canadian owner Hudson’s Bay Co. (No. 36), the deal provides another channel for sales at a time when its department stores are reeling from slow mall traffic and a shift to e-commerce.
“This innovative flagship on Walmart.com is an entirely new model for us and demonstrates the evolution of Lord & Taylor and our commitment to advancing our digital presence,” says RJ Cilley, senior vice president of digital, Lord & Taylor. “We are excited for the opportunity to serve exponentially more customers with our premium fashion offerings, including our famous dress selection and many stylish brands.”
James Melton contributed to this report.