business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Wall Street Journal reports that Marc Lore, who is running Walmart’s and Jet’s e-commerce businesses in the US, said this week that “the online retail division is still in growth mode, the fruits of which will start paying off over the next two years and help it better compete with Amazon.”

“E-commerce is a scale game,” Lore told the Journal at a technology conference. “We’re looking at a lot of different things right now, everything, in every sector.”

And TechCrunch quotes Lore as saying that one can expect Walmart and Jet “to “crush it over the next two years,” and that he “wouldn’t trade our position with anyone right now.” TechCrunch writes that “Lore claims that it already has the infrastructure to do overnight delivery for 87 percent of the country and is working on spreading out inventory to these warehouse locations.”
KC's View:
I was in Detroit this week, and happened upon a Moosejaw store. I went in, because I was curious about the company, which has an online presence as well as 11 stores, all but one of which is in the midwest. It was terrific - lots of merchandise, branded and private label, that was more like an REI store (albeit a lot smaller) than a Walmart. I talked to the salespeople, and they said Walmart had been a nonissue in terms of how they do business as store level.

That fits with what Lore told TechCrunch: “Specialist positioning is better than mass. We’ve empowered the leaders of these companies to basically run the category across the entire entity.”

And so, expect Walmart/Jet to acquire more specialty retailers to complement its ownership of companies such as ShoeBuy, Moosejaw, Bonobos and ModCloth. I’m not sure how this is all going to turn out, but they certainly seem committed to the strategy.