Walmart And Target: Which Brand Strategy Will Win?

by MR Magazine Staff

Last month, Walmart announced that merchandise from two of its recent e-commerce acquisitions — quirky women’s apparel site Modcloth and menswear merchant Bonobos — would be sold on the Jet marketplace, but not on or in Walmart stores. It’s a strategy that differs widely from Target — which has also announced partnerships in recent months, including with popular online mattress company Casper and men’s grooming subscription service Harry’s — where integration with the bullseye and outside logos is more the norm. Both are strong plays to bring e-commerce strengths in house, and both are defensive moves against Amazon, which continues apace expanding merchandise in all categories. That’s thanks in part to Amazon’s Marketplace (which sells half the merchandise people buy there) and to an increasing number of brands that, as Nike decided this summer, are opting to sell directly on Amazon to boost their own direct-to-consumer sales. Amazon, for its part, hasn’t shied away from buying expertise and infrastructure, most prominently via its recent acquisition of Whole Foods. In the process, Walmart is ditching its flagship name to promote these new sub-brands while Target appears to be carefully pursuing partnerships — but not acquisitions — whose brands jibe with its own. There is rationale, and strengths and pitfalls, in each approach. Read more at Retail Dive.