Walmart, already the nation’s largest retailer, is trying to create a massive digital marketplace to draw more shoppers to its website — and away from its biggest rival, Amazon.
Starting Monday, outdoor equipment company Moosejaw will be featured on Walmart’s website with its own online destination. Acquired by Walmart in 2017, Moosejaw’s merchandise assortment includes items from brands like Patagonia and Canada Goose – a departure from what many customers have come to expect from Walmart and its everyday low prices.
The Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer has branched out into high-end products. He acquired menswear company Bonobos and womenswear and accessories company ModCloth in recent years. Moosejaw’s online store also builds on Walmart’s recent deal with Lord & Taylor, which created a fashion destination on Walmart.com with more high-end brands.
Moosejaw, like the other companies Walmart recently acquired, targets millennial shoppers, which Walmart has said it wants to do more of, especially since this younger generation has greater buying power.
Moosejaw’s new landing page on Walmart.com will feature “thousands of items” from premium outdoor brands like Deuter, Craghoppers and Eddie Bauer’s First Ascent, the companies announced in a blog post Monday. It will also sell Moosejaw-branded apparel, including its jackets and other camping gear, and the plan is to add more Moosejaw products over time.
“We are introducing an all-new outdoor specialty assortment that has not been available to Walmart customers in the past,” Moosejaw CEO Eoin Comerford said in a statement. “It’s kind of an honor because it’s the first time Walmart has created an online store on its flagship site curated by one of its acquired specialty retailers.”
Amazon is also adding more brands to its website, with the two companies competing to offer a wider assortment of items to shoppers. Some brands working with Amazon today include Chico’s FAS and Calvin Klein. Retail analysts believe both companies have invested heavily in the apparel category, especially in recent months.
In addition to its Lord & Taylor deal, Walmart also recently announced a new clothing line with Ellen DeGeneres, it launched a new house brand called Allswell, and it continues to grow its assortment on Jet.com, although the website remains separated from Walmart. com even after the acquisition. Walmart acquired Jet in 2016.
“The goal is to provide a destination for outdoor enthusiasts where Moosejaw pulls the best outdoor brands from many sources,” Comerford said of the latest brand partnership.
With more and more online retail sales in the United States, many companies are realizing how important it is to strengthen their e-commerce platforms. Moosejaw merchandise will not be available at Walmart stores, a spokeswoman told CNBC.
Shares of Walmart have soared more than 20% in the past 12 months, taking the retailer’s market capitalization to around $280 billion. That compares to Amazon, which has a market capitalization of over $928 billion, as its stock is up more than 100% from a year ago.