Fresh off a quarter in which its e-commerce sales slowed and its stock was pummeled, Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) announced that it would move further into the home furnishing business, particularly products sold online. It must be part of a strategy to turn around its online revenue problem, but home furnishings is a crowded field.
In a Walmart press release, Anthony Soohoo, senior vice president and group general manager, Home for Walmart U.S. eCommerce, remarked:
Walmart’s mission is to be the destination for customers no matter how they want to shop or what they want to shop for. And, as a mass retailer, we know that customers shop differently across categories. Some categories are more transactional, like groceries and consumables, while others are more inspirational, like apparel and home.
Today, we’re doubling down on the latter and unveiling a new digital shopping experience aligned with how customers naturally shop for home products. As the head of Home for Walmart U.S. eCommerce, and admittedly design-obsessed, I’m personally excited about the changes we’re making to help our customers shop the high-quality, on-trend and, of course, affordable home assortment we offer on Walmart.com.
It is a long-winded way to say the company will expand its online product categories and tether the decision to one of Walmart’s strengths, which is affordability.
The world’s largest retailer laid out its tactics, as Soohoo wrote of the plans:
A Home destination page that features curated collections guided by design trends and in-house stylists
Nine shop-by-style options, including modern, mid-century, traditional, glam, industrial, bohemian, farmhouse, transitional and Scandinavian (my personal favorite is a combination of modern and mid-century)
Editorial-style imagery and design tips that will enable customers to discover different styles and how to pull together a complete look
Among the challenges Walmart has is that Amazon already has a huge home furnishing store. Amazon’s selection is huge because its store is open to a large number of retailers. It also has spent years building a consumer base to shop its furniture-related section.
Walmart’s home furnishings store is late to the game.