Marc Lore, the David to Amazon’s Goliath, will step down as Walmart’s e-commerce chief

Marc Lore has been taking Amazon on for decades, from Diapers.com to Jet.com to Walmart.


January 18, 2021

When the topic of “Amazon is a fierce competitor” comes up, one of the most famous case studies is Quidsi, which owned Diapers.com.

Co-founded by Marc Lore in 2005, Diapers.com was an e-commerce trailblazer that figured out how to ship bulky, low-margin products like — you guessed it — diapers.

Amazon tried to acquire Diapers.com but was rebuffed.

Apparently, Jeff Bezos doesn’t like to get rejected

Soon after getting turned down, Amazon bots tracked Diapers.com and undercut its prices by 30%+.

The Amazon price war became so onerous for Lore and his team that Quidsi eventually caved and sold to the Seattle giant for $545m in 2011.

After a stint at Amazon, Lore co-founded Jet.com

It was yet another e-commerce competitor to Amazon that would be acquired by Walmart for $3.3B in 2016.

Since then, Lore has led Walmart’s battle against Amazon. Per the Wall Street Journal, his efforts have led to mixed results:

  • Online sales are up, driven by online grocery sales from stores.
  • A redesign of Walmart.com added 10s of millions of items and sped up delivery times.
  • Acquisitions of digitally-native brands, like clothes retailers Bonobos and Modcloth, haven’t really moved the needle.

Walmart’s e-comm biz made crucial changes during the pandemic…

… including more online grocery sales, curbside pickup, third-party merchants, and the rollout of a Prime-like subscription service.

On Friday, Lore announced his retirement from Walmart, effective Jan. 31. The timing lines up with the 5-year, $250m restricted stock package he received.

What’s next? Lore tells the WSJ he wants to build “the city of the future” and — on a slightly less ambitious note — write a book.

Either way, the dude’s done slinging diapers.

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