Walmart eCommerce chief Marc Lore acknowledged in an interview with Bloomberg News that the retailer still has work to do when it comes to taking on Amazon in the world of eCommerce.
In an interview, Lore said, “there are certainly areas where we are playing defense, and we’re behind and need to catch up. One example is the long-tail categories that we’re going after with acquisitions.” Long-tail is a reference to the tons of products online retailers can offer compared to what retailers can put on their store shelves. For eCommerce, it’s endless, but for physical stores, there’s limitation due to space.
Lore was named head of eCommerce after Walmart purchased Jet.com, the company owned by Lore, for $3.3 billion in September. Since the acquisition, Lore has instituted free two-day shipping at Walmart on orders of more than $35 and provides discounts when customers pick up online orders in-store. The company has also acquired Moosejaw, an outdoor retailer, and ModCloth, an online apparel company, under the charge of Lore, noted Bloomberg. All of the moves are defensive and are seen as a way to take on Amazon that has long been dominating.
“The business we built there was about assortment — diapers and dog food. And to make that work, you have to build out the long tail,” he said. “After I left, they sort of stopped. That was probably not a smart strategic move.”
When asked about the fate of mall-based retailers, including Sears and Macy’s, Lore said he thinks the retail sector is still “fairly healthy” but that some brick-and-mortar brands may not survive over the long haul.
“There’s a chance that we will see some definitely not make it,” he said. “It’s not easy to change and adapt when things are moving really fast — you have to stay on top of it, and not everybody is. People are changing the way they shop, and companies that are able to adapt will do well and flourish. Those that don’t, won’t.”