Walmart's Strategy Under Marc Lore Unfolding; Prices and Costs Cut, Online Services Expanded

Wed. April 12th, 2017 - by Jessica Donnel

BENTONVILLE, AR – Starting April 19, Walmart is offering discounts on approximately 10,000 items available for in-store pickup through the company’s e-commerce platforms. This, along with significant cost cutting measures at the corporate level may mark the point at which President and CEO of Walmart U.S. eCommerce, Marc Lore’s overall strategy is finally coming to fruition—with a streamlined corporate structure, greater focus on e-commerce, and increasingly competitive pricing.

Marc Lore, President and CEO, Walmart U.S. eCommerce“With Pickup Discount, we are beginning to take the ethos behind Jet’s Smart Cart and marrying it with Walmart’s operational efficiency to bring price transparency to life at,” said Lore, in a press release. “We’re creating price transparency to empower customers to shop smarter and choose what’s best for them. Now, they can either pick up and save even more money, or ship two-day for free to home, without paying for a membership.”

This latest development is part of an aggressive push on the part of Walmart to out-price its competitors, and it comes on the heels of other efforts to gain online market share. According to CNBC, the retailer recently lowered the chain’s minimum order requirements for free shipping from $50 to $35 and shorted delivery time by up to three days—offering two-day shipping gratis on two million items. This on top of several recent e-commerce acquisitions since Lore arrived at Walmart just over six months ago.

“When we leverage our fleet of more than 6,700 trucks to deliver products directly from fulfillment centers to our 4,700 stores, this means quite simply, it costs less for us to ship to stores. So, our customers should share in those savings,” Lore noted.

At the same time that the company has pursued customers with price-cuts and discounted services, the company has pursued an aggressive streamlining agenda. Late last year, the company announced plans to cut roughly 7,000 administrative jobs, and an additional 300 tech jobs within the organization are being cut this month.

Will the retailer’s efforts be successful in gaining ground on Amazon in the e-commerce sector and fending off forays from European discounters like Aldi and Lidl who plan to gain ground on their U.S. counterparts with their discount pricing? AndNowUKnow will continue to report.