While much of the existing assortment on the new Moosejaw Premium Outdoor Store will be fulfilled by Moosejaw, the companies plan to broaden the assortment over time to potentially include products from other specialty outdoor retailers and brands.

Walmart Inc. said today it has opened a new Premium Outlet Store on its site curated by sports gear and apparel retailer Moosejaw.

Walmart bought Moosejaw in early 2017 for $51 million.

“It’s kind of an honor, since this is the first time that Walmart is creating an online store on its flagship site curated by one of its acquired specialty retailers,” Eoin Comerford, general manager of outdoor, Walmart U.S. e-commerce, and CEO of Moosejaw, said in a statement.

Comerford says that Walmart’s scale has helped Moosejaw “take our business to the next level,” enabling it to offer free two-day shipping on orders over $49, to invest in technology improvements to the Moosejaw site and to beef up its rewards program, resulting in a 50% increase in redemption rate, Moosejaw says. Walmart is No. 3 in the Internet Retailer Top 1000.

The Premium Outdoor Store offers a new outdoor specialty assortment that hasn’t been available to Walmart customers in the past, Comerford tells Internet Retailer. It will include items from 50 outdoor brands, including Craghoppers (apparel), Deuter (packs) and Jack Wolfskin (apparel/camping gear). It will also carry the full line of Moosejaw-branded clothing, jackets and gear. The new higher-end assortment will complement the camping assortment currently available on Walmart.com.

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“From Walmart’s perspective, the acquisition of Moosejaw and other specialty retailers was, in part, to leverage the brand’s specialty expertise [and] to grow [the] assortment on Walmart.com,”  Comerford says. “From Moosejaw’s perspective, this exposes a whole new audience to the Moosejaw brand and also gives us a new avenue to offer to our brand partners where we can give them exposure in a very brand-friendly environment, managed by a trusted retail partner.”

While much of the existing assortment on the Premium Outdoor Store will be fulfilled by Moosejaw, Comerford said the companies plan to broaden the assortment over time to potentially include products from other specialty outdoor retailers and brands.

Moosejaw also has been testing new shopping technologies with the help of Walmart’s technology incubator, called Store No. 8. Last month, it said it had worked with Spatialand, a virtual reality platform acquired by Walmart’s Store No. 8 to build a virtual reality experience that transports customers to a campsite in Yosemite National Park where they can experience camping equipment in the wild via VR. For example, a shopper can pick a tent brand and size to see how it looks. A consumer can walk around it and test out the features and enter the tent and see how many people will fit inside and buy it.

The retailers demoed the experience at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in Denver late last month. “The end goal is to create an immersive interface where consumers can experience the best outdoor products as they would be used on a campsite,” Comerford says. “This is an ongoing, long-term initiative.”

Walmart has been on an e-commerce shopping spree over the last couple years in an attempt to tap into new demographics of shoppers. In addition to Moosejaw, in 2016 it purchased marketplace Jet.com. Last year, it bought women’s apparel retailer Modcloth Inc., men’s apparel retailer Bonobos and shoe retailer Shoebuy.com Inc. 

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Earlier this year, Walmart also launched a Lord & Taylor-branded section on the recently redesigned Walmart.com.  The shop features more than 125 fashion brands, including Tommy Bahama and Vince Camuto. Lord & Taylor is owned by Hudson’s Bay Co. (No. 36).

Walmart posted strong e-commence sales in the second quarter, its most recent quarterly earnings announced earlier this month. U.S. e-commerce sales rose 40% in the quarter compared with last year, according to management commentary from CEO Doug McMillon.

Since the beginning of the year, McMillon said Walmart added 1,100 brands to its e-commerce site because consumers are looking for more assortment online. However, e-commerce will result in larger losses than last year for the retail giant, according to chief financial officer Brett Biggs. Investments like the new Store No. 8, site enhancements and new technology will eat into profits from rising e-commerce sales. Biggs says the investments mean the retailer will incur short-term costs in exchange for long-term growth.

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