Amid Slowing E-Comm Growth, Walmart Is Combining Its Online & Store Buying Teams

Walmart is bringing together its online and store product buying teams.

Previously, the Bentonville, Ark.-based company required vendors to pitch to two different teams: one focused on stores and the other online. The store and e-tail teams also had different home bases, with the former mainly working out of Arkansas and the latter mostly based on the coasts, in either California or New Jersey.

The decision to combine both buying teams comes amid ongoing efforts by Walmart to fuse its e-commerce and brick-and-mortar channels. The firm also made a move within the past year to fold its Jet.com retail, technology, marketing, analytics and product teams into its own online business, as well as to shut down its Jetblack personal shopping service.

Walmart has the second-largest market share when it comes to retail e-commerce sales (5.3%). The company lags far behind Amazon.com in the online sector, however, with the Seattle-based e-tail behemoth accounting for 38.7% of all U.S. retail e-comm sales, according to eMarketer.

While online sales have continued to grow for Walmart in recent years, the company is forecasting slower e-comm sales growth this year. The firm posted its lowest online sales gains (35%) in nearly two years for the fourth quarter ended Jan. 31; for the current fiscal year, it forecasts digital revenues will rise by about 30%, down from 37% growth a year prior.

For Q4, Walmart logged adjusted earnings per share of $1.38, missing consensus bets of $1.43. Revenues increased by 2.1% to $141.67 billion, falling short of expectations of a $142.64 billion increase.

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