Member Brief: Walmart But Make It Fashion

One of the more surprising evolutions in retail is taking place at one of the country’s biggest store chains. Walmart is fashionable now. In July, Walmart chose not to celebrate the Prime Day sales cycle to focus on inventory and the function of its stores. It seems that it may now be paying off. From What Walmart Signals for eCommerce:

For Walmart, the decision to sit out signals a shift back to basics that is a hangover effect from the worst of the pandemic. After years of chasing Amazon’s tail, investing in its eCommerce operations, fast delivery speeds and its Prime-like Walmart+ membership, Walmart needs to focus on its core operations and profitably clear inventory. It’s not thinking about a summer deals day when it has to prepare itself already – in July – for the all-important holiday season at the end of the year. It needs proper inventory and logistics to get there.

Walmart has trailed Target reputationally, with Target considered the more upscale and premium-brand friendly big box store. To be sure, Target has attracted waves of modern brands across each category who realized that big box distribution as a growth engine. But Walmart was always the one retailer to avoid, it was “off brand” to many modern retailers more focused on impressions than profitable distribution.

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