Walmart to acquire Art.com aiming to grow share of $10 billion wall decor market

by Kim Souza (ksouza@talkbusiness.net) 678 views 

Walmart’s shopping spree continues with the latest purchase of Art.com, a startup founded in 1998, and now the largest online art and wall decor retailer with more than two million curated images. Walmart announced the pending acquisition Thursday, (Dec. 6), but provided no financial details. The acquisition is expected to close early next year.

Art.com has annual sales of roughly $300 million and is similar to the other recent acquisitions by Walmart like Bare Necessities.

The retail giant said this acquisition fits within its strategy to enhance the experience through increased assortment (like Moosejaw and Bare Necessities). Walmart said the addition of Art.com will allow the retailer to augment its assortment and accelerate the growth in categories like home decor.

“This news builds upon the recent Walmart.com site re-design for introductions to new experiences and brands, further positioning Walmart.com as a specialty retail destination for home,” said Anthony Soohoo, senior vice president, group general manager for home, at Walmart U.S. eCommerce.

He said in the past 10 months since Walmart revamped its home category website to provide an enhanced customer experience the retailer has learned more about how customers want to shop, and the process they undergo to create a space they love. Soohoo said a big factor in creating that personal space starts with the wall, and that’s a $10 billion market in the U.S. for wall art and decor.

Walmart said it will operate Art.com as a standalone and complementary site. Over time, the retailer will add the wide-ranging assortment of art to Walmart.com, Jet.com and Hayneedle.com.

“This will enhance the customer experience with millions of additional choices for art, wall décor, and personalized print-on-demand capabilities while creating a richer, deeper shopping experience across the Home category,” Soohoo said.

Walmart saw Art.com as a value given its deep understanding of the art and wall decor category allowing for a more personalized shopping experience overall from affordable posters to limited edition prints and loft art pieces that consumers want to add to their homes.

Art.com has earned a great reputation for its on-demand and customization capabilities with the majority of its inventory being printed on demand at the time of customer ordering. The company also offers custom framing and mounting on canvas which is done on-site by artisans.

Walmart U.S. eCommerce CEO Marc Lore has said Walmart could own as many as 40 digital native brands before its acquisition spree is done. Walmart’s digital native brand acquisitions since the big $3 billion purchase of Jet.com in 2016 includes ModCloth, Moosejaw, Shoes.com, Bonobos, Eloquii and Bare Necessities.

The retailer’s strategy is aimed at targeting a younger audience that isn’t necessarily shopping in its physical stores and are also likely Amazon Prime members.

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