Walmart will now be selling high-end fashion merchandise alongside their usual selection of abundant accessories. The mega retail chain now has a partnership with the department store Lord & Taylor. The partnership is said to “create a premium fashion destination on Walmart.com,” Denis Incandela said. Incandela is head of fashion for Walmart’s US e-commerce business.
The idea is set for spring 2018 which will be a Lord & Taylor store on Walmart’s website and app that will give the Walmart online shoppers access to the labels sold by Lord & Taylor. As of now, the announcement did not say if they will be including all the items available by Lord & Taylor such as Vera Wang gowns, Kate Spade coats, Polo Ralph Lauren sweaters, Badgley Mishka dresses, and other expensive pieces.
“We see customers on our site searching for higher-end items, and we are expanding our business online to focus on adding specialized and premium shopping experiences, starting with fashion,” Incandela said in the announcement. This new plan will be a step away from the normal cheap clothes that are at Walmart.
Walmart has been trying to turn itself into an online fashion giant as part of the successful effort to grow their e-commerce business. Walmart is doing this to stay competitive with Amazon, which has been taking practically all of the US e-commerce, including clothing retail.
In just a year, Walmart has acquired online footwear seller ShoeBuy, outdoor brand Moosejaw, clothing retailer ModCloth, and menswear brand Bonobos.
The new Lord & Taylor deal will certainly help grow Walmart’s fashion business although it can be tough for a brand who is known for cheap and uncommon products to add high-end products, as shown by Amazon. Walmart already sells a good amount of designer labels on its site just like Amazon. Walmart does this to allow third-party sellers to reach Walmart’s large online audience.
The deal will also allow Lord & Taylor to reach even more shoppers. According to the announcement they can reach “exponentially more” shoppers than it currently does through their own website. Like many other department stores, it has seen its own sales fall as fewer and fewer people go to the mall and do more online shopping. They have also seen their sales drop as more people are going towards fast fashion brand.
Lord & Taylor recently also sold off a large part of its historic New York City flagship store to WeWork. The store will keep its bottom floors, while WeWork will have the rest.
If this new partnership goes well there will certainly be even more partnerships to soon follow after.