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Walmart has a new website for wealthy shoppers — here's what it's like

Business Insider logo Business Insider 5/16/2018 Hayley Peterson

Lord & Taylor Store on Walmart.com

Lord & Taylor Store on Walmart.com
© Provided by Business Insider

Walmart is trying to lure wealthy shoppers to its website with a new online shop featuring upscale fashion brands sold by Lord & Taylor.

More than 125 brands will be available on the new section of Walmart's site, including Tommy Bahama, Vince Camuto, Lucky Brand, and H Halston, when it rolls out nationwide over the next couple weeks, executives from Walmart and Lord & Taylor said Tuesday.

Walmart is keeping the new shop separate from its existing merchandise. The retailer's new fashion landing page — which is part of its recent site upgrade — will soon offer shoppers two tabs: "everyday brands" and "premium brands."

The clothing that Walmart sells will live under the "everyday brands" tab, and the Lord & Taylor assortment will live under the "premium brands" tab. 

The price differences between the two tabs is significant.

Walmart.com's best-selling dresses cost between $9 and $20. Alternatively, some of the dresses on the "premium brands" site cost between $41 and $159.

Walmart and Lord & Taylor first announced their partnership in November. The companies have declined to talk about the financial terms of the deal, and until Tuesday, revealed few details about how the partnership would work.

The new premium tab on Walmart.com is the latest in a series of moves by Walmart designed to target wealthy shoppers, which the retail giant has historically ignored in favor of customers at the opposite end of the income spectrum.

Over the last couple years, Walmart has pivoted to broaden its customer base by snatching up e-commerce companies that appeal to higher-income customers, including Jet, MooseJaw, ModCloth, Shoebuy, Bonobos, and Hayneedle. It has also rapidly expanded its online grocery service — a program that appeals to wealthier shoppers — with plans to make it available at more than 2,000 stores this year.

Walmart says it's responding to demand that's already present on its site. 

"We see Walmart customers searching online all the time for higher-end brands," said Denise Incandela, head of fashion for Walmart e-commerce.

Meanwhile Lord & Taylor, which is battling years of declining mall traffic, is hoping to get a sales boost through the new partnership.

When customers order items carried by Lord & Taylor on Walmart's website, the transaction will be completed by Walmart.com, but the order will be fulfilled by Lord & Taylor. 

"Overnight we will grow our digital footprint to reach exponentially more shoppers," said RJ Cilley, senior vice president of digital for Lord & Taylor. "This is a completely new model for us."

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