Walmart Stores Inc. (WMT - Get Report) has been wheeling and dealing all year long. And with the market sending Walmart's stock to new heights as it seeks to its transform its business through deals, its eagerness to pull the trigger is unlikely to subside in 2018.
"We are trying to mostly build the assortment, a customer is looking to us for not just value but they want to have a wide selection," Walmart's CEO Doug McMillon said in an interview with TheStreet. "We are focused on busy families, so moms are important—we want to make every day easier for busy families."
That focus has been clearly on display of late.
Walmart recently acquired Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Parcel for an undisclosed sum. Parcel offers same-day and last mile delivery in metro New York for online retailers including Bonobos—an eCommerce clothing brand Walmart bought earlier this year. Parcel also has partnerships with several meal kit, grocery and e-commerce companies, and has delivered more than 1 million meals in the past two years.
To be sure, Parcel's business model raises the question on whether Walmart would entertain a purchase of beleaguered meal-kit service Blue Apron Holdings Inc. (APRN - Get Report) . What's easier for a mom than having Blue Apron's meal kits arrive to the house each day? Taking advantage of Walmart's extensive food supply chain could bring costs down for Blue Apron to a point that it reverses its loss-making ways.
Meanwhile, Walmart continues to leverage its $3 billion acquisition of Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN - Get Report) rival Jet.com that it made last year. Over the past year, Walmart.com has tripled the number of items for sale to 70 million stock-keeping units (SKUs), helped in large part by aggressive efforts of Jet.com founder Marc Lore (who now oversees Walmart's U.S. eCommerce platform). The site is also adding more premium brands like Bose electronics and KitchenAid appliances.
When not signing off on acquisitions, McMillion is looking for clever partnerships. Case in point: a partnership with Lord & Taylor (owned by Hudson's Bay Co.) to launch an online marketplace on Walmart's website in the middle of 2018.
"One of the realities of eCommerce marketing is that customer acquisition can be expensive, and so companies like Lord & Taylor are looking for traffic—I believe we have come up with a really unique partnership that will help them grow their business," McMillon said.
Don't expect Walmart grocery shops to appear in Lord & Taylor stores, however. "They are a department store," McMillon added.
Editor's note: This article originally appeared on The Deal , our sister publication that offers sophisticated insight and analysis on all types of deals, from inception to integration. Click here for a free trial.
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