Brief - The Hustle

Walmart is using Moosejaw to bite into Amazon’s premium e-commerce pie

Written by Conor Grant | Jun 30, 2020 10:07:09 AM

Yesterday, Walmart launched a new online “Premium Outdoor Store”  curated by Moosejaw, the outdoor retailer that the mega-chain purchased last February.

Moosejaw is the first of Walmart’s many recent acquisitions to get its own designated storefront on the Walmart website, offering a glimpse of the discount retailer’s long-term strategy to take on Amazon.

Letting the cool brands stay cool

At first glance, Moosejaw (acquired for $51m) may seem like a small part of Walmart’s digital strategy compared to other big acquisitions like ($3B) or Flipkart ($16B).

But Walmart needs to move past its reputation for discount products — and to do that it must attract up-market shoppers, like those who buy $1.5k jackets at brand-name subsidiaries like Moosejaw.

As Walmart continues to scale its other trendy small acquisitions, like Bonobos and ModCloth, it will work hard to preserve their brand value.

A little Moose on a big mission

The ‘Mart has countered Amazon’s move into the brick and mortar space with a digital affront of its own.

Aside from its acquisition spree, the company has started prioritizing partnerships, joining forces with Lord & Taylor to offer the department store’s premium fashion and accessory brands.

But copying Amazon’s online marketplace isn’t enough. Walmart is also trying to replicate Bezos’ bread and butter: books. Last month, they launched an online eBook store with Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten. Its new service is cheaper than Amazon’s.