Walmart Launches Exclusive Online Furniture Brand

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Citing a 35% increase in customer visits to its online home goods destination, Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) on Friday launched a new exclusively online brand of home furnishings called MoDRN. The brand includes nearly 650 items for every room in the house with pricing ranging from $20 to $60 for barware up to $700 to $899 for sofas.

The MoDRN brand is starting out with three curated collections that Walmart describes as “incredibly stylish”: Retro Glam, Refined Industrial and Scandinavian Minimal. Each collection includes furnishings for every room in a home. Walmart unveiled its online home goods site about a year ago.

Anthony Soohoo, senior vice president and group general manager for Walmart’s U.S. e-commerce home division, said:

I’m proud of the shopping experience we’ve developed. Customers are telling us how easy we’ve made it to discover the latest home products and trends. Now, they can shop for everything they need for their modern homes too.

While buying furniture sight unseen from a website may sound a bit iffy, Wayfair Inc. (NYSE: W), a pioneer in online home furnishings sales, has seen its share price more than triple since coming public in October of 2014. Of course, neither Wayfair nor Walmart sells only furniture. Less expensive decor items like pillows and rugs are also available.

And, as if further proof were needed that online home furnishings are now a thing, last week, Credit Suisse analyst Stephen Ju upgraded Wayfair stock from Neutral to Outperform and lifted its price target from $117 to $130. He believes that competition from Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), among others and presumably including Walmart, has been priced into the stock

Far from posing a threat to Wayfair, Walmart’s announcement has helped push Wayfair’s stock price higher by about 2.7% to $119.73 on what is an otherwise down day on U.S. markets. Walmart’s doubling-down on the home-furnishings market is another signal to investors that Wayfair is onto something.

As for Walmart, it’s stock traded down about 1.2% just after noon Friday, at $95.55 in a 52-week range of $81.78 to $96.69. The 12-month consensus price target is $106.93.

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