Walmart’s omnichannel expansion shows no signs of slowing down, with major upgrades planned for both digital platforms and brick-and-mortar stores in the next few years. The retailer is currently offering a slew of enticing, limited-time benefits to new vendors on the Walmart Marketplace platform and, over the next few years, will also open 30 new Sam's Club locations nationwide.
In an effort to recruit more merchants, the retailer will offer a limited-time discount to new sellers on its third-party digital selling platform, Walmart Marketplace. The New-Seller Savings initiative grants signees a 25% commission rate reduction for 3 months, along with a slew of other discounts, benefits, and potential referral fees. Sellers who use Walmart’s repricing tool, for example, will receive a further 5% discount. New merchants will also receive a $500 credit to be used on Walmart’s sponsored ad program.
Walmart Marketplace experienced high growth in 2022, adding around 8,000 new sellers in Q3 last year. In the company’s November earnings call, it was reported that the Marketplace SKU inventory had increased by half to 370 million SKUs.
The megaretailer has devoted significant time and effort to expanding their digital footprint, most recently launching Walmart Business, an e-commerce destination designed to help SMEs purchase supplies for their day-to-day operations. In late 2022, the company also built out their digital shopping experience offerings to include augmented reality (AR) view-in-your-home technology, Buy Now, and a virtual shopping queue.
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“Our goal is to make Walmart the place [customers] turn to first. And just as we want Walmart to be the first choice for customers, we want to be the top choice for all sellers – from small businesses to major brands,” said Manish Joneja, SVP, Walmart U.S. marketplace and Walmart fulfillment services, in a statement on the news.
Sam’s Club’s Nationwide Expansion
Walmart’s Sam’s Club will add 30 new clubs over the next several years in response to “record growth” and increased demand. The first of these new clubs will open in Florida in 2024. At 160,000 square feet, the new locations will be larger than current clubs, and will feature a greater proportion of space dedicated to health services, including consultation rooms, waiting areas, and private suites.
The decision to expand was driven by “historic comparable sales growth, and a record rise in membership over the last two years,” according to company representatives. Sales at Sam's Club stores that had been open for more than a year reportedly rose 10% in the last quarter of 2022.
According to a statement from the company, Sam’s will also open five new supply chain fulfillment and distribution centers in 2023, with the first set to open in Georgia in Q3.
These new fulfillment centers will leverage the latest in automation technology and robotics – designed to drive efficiency at every touch point of the value chain – as well as position all clubs and members physically closer to their distribution centers. “By combining the shorter distances and the efficiencies added via process, automation and digitization, replenishment of clubs and item fulfillment for members will be best in class,” the company said.