Walmart_pickup
ECOMMERCE

Walmart turns up the heat on Amazon with new discounting program

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Walmart has fired another shot at Amazon.

In a move that leverages the retail giant’s vast store and delivery networks and expanding online capabilities, Walmart, starting April 19, will begin offering a discount on merchandise that customers buy online and have shipped to a Walmart store for pick-up. Walmart’s new Pickup Discount program will initially be available only on about 10,000 items, but will be expanded to more than one million of the chain’s most popular items by the end of June.

Here’s how it works: Customers shop an item notated with “pickup discount” and ship to their local store for pick up. The shoppers will then receive a discount based on each individual item.

The discounts will vary. Walmart offered a few examples: Lego City Great Vehicles Ferry, which sells for $23.99, will have a pick-up discount of $2.55; a Britax infant car seat that sells for $148.05 will have a discount of $7.40. Larger items will offer bigger discounts: a Vizio television that has a $1,698 price tag will offer a discount of $50.

The new feature was inspired by the Smart Cart technology developed by Jet.com, the e-commerce retailer Walmart acquired in September. The technology, which used an algorithm to drive discounts, offered on a variety of ways shoppers could save on their purchases. (The founder of Jet.com, Marc Lore, is now the president and CEO of Walmart’s U.S. e-commerce.)

The program takes “the ethos behind Jet’s Smart Cart and marries it with Walmart’s operational efficiency to bring price transparency to life at walmart.com,” Lore wrote in a blog on Walmart’s website.

“We can remove the last mile delivery costs (that represent the lion’s share of the costs to ship products to customers’ homes) when we leverage our fleet of more than 6,700 trucks to deliver products directly from fulfillment centers to our 4,700 stores,” Lore added. “This means, quite simply, it costs less for us to ship to stores. So, our customers should share in those savings.”

The new pickup discount complements the Walmart’s Online Grocery Pickup service, which is now in 600 stores. The chain plans to expand the service to an additional 500 stores this year, according to Lore.

“We already offer great prices online,” Lore said. “We do that every day. Offering a discount on Pickup demonstrates how we can take that to the next level by operating more efficiently and removing costs from the system to give customers even more ways to save.”

The service comes as the shipping and pricing wars between Walmart and Amazon intensify. In a move to counter Amazon Prime, Walmart recently eliminated its ShippingPass program in favor of a free two-day shipping program.

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D.Alves says:
Apr-21-2017 01:45 pm

Vendor/supplier discount practices
One has to wonder on the spread of margins are between retailers? Other large retailers should be questioning pricing practices to see if it is unfair....

D.Alves says:
Apr-21-2017 01:45 pm

One has to wonder on the spread of margins are between retailers? Other large retailers should be questioning pricing practices to see if it is unfair....

B.Jolley says:
Apr-18-2017 03:05 pm

I'm not necessarily a Walmart
I'm not necessarily a Walmart fan but I do enjoy the competition they are giving Amazon. Very forward looking rather than what most other retailers are doing--looking from the sidelines.

B.Jolley says:
Apr-18-2017 03:05 pm

I'm not necessarily a Walmart fan but I do enjoy the competition they are giving Amazon. Very forward looking rather than what most other retailers are doing--looking from the sidelines.

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ToysRUS_China
FINANCE

Toys ‘R’ Us in new venture with Fung Retailing

BY Marianne Wilson

Toys “R” Us is combining its business in Japan with its ones in Greater China and Southeast Asia.

In a joint venture between the toy retailer and Fung Retailing Limited, Toys “R” Us, Japan, which operates 160 stores in the country, will become part of Toys “R” Us, Asia Ltd., which operates 223 stores in Greater China and the Southeast Asia markets and licenses an additional 34 stores in the Philippines and Macau.

The combined business will be approximately 85% owned by Toys “R” Us and approximately 15% owned by Fung Retailing.

“This expansion marks another milestone for Toys “R” Us as a global company,” said Dave Brandon, chairman and CEO, Toys “R” Us. “The businesses are highly complementary with regards to markets, products and technology, and we believe that the strategic decision to consolidate them will allow us to streamline operations and accelerate innovation to continue to deliver a world-class experience for our customers in Asia.”

Toys “R” Us and Fung Retailing have been working together in the region since 1985.

“We look forward to working more closely with Fung Retailing, our trusted and valued business partner, as we further our mission to be the best toy and baby products retail company for the world,” Brandon said.

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FINANCE

Report: Beauty retailer attracts suitors

BY Marianne Wilson

An array of private equity firms are interested in The Body Shop.

The beauty retailer, which is owned by cosmetics giant L’Oreal, has drawn bids from around 15 private equity firms and companies, including Bain Capital, CVC Capital Partners, Carlyle Group LP and South Korea’s CJ Group, Bloomberg reported.

In February, L’oreal said it was exploring strategic options, including a sale for Body Shop, which has struggled in the wake of newer rivals, both online and in the physical space.

A retail pioneer in all-natural beauty products, ethical sourcing and environmental responsibility, Body Shop was founded in Brighton, England, in 1976 by Dame Anita Roddick. L’Oreal bought the company, which operates some 3,000 stores around the globe, in 2006.

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