In today’s top retail news, Walmart is launching a new delivery-as-a-service (DaaS) platform to help other retailers and merchants with their last-mile transport needs, and Best Buy plans to expand the membership program it has been piloting for a year across all stores and online channels in the coming months. Also, Urban Outfitters is getting into the secondhand-style game with a new thrift store app, and industry watchers tell PYMNTS that Macy’s partnership with Toys R Us could be setting up a larger marketplace strategy.
Just a week after an earnings report that exemplified Walmart’s omnichannel successes, the company is placing a big bet that its delivery network can outshine other last-mile options available to retailers and merchants, including the delivery services of rival Amazon, as it looks for ways to diversify its revenue streams. Walmart GoLocal is a white-label DaaS model developed from Walmart’s own ability to launch and scale delivery capabilities for its own customers through its Spark Driver platform.
Best Buy’s domestic online sales dropped more than 28 percent in the second quarter after a 242 percent jump the previous year, but the company reported increases in its enterprise revenue, domestic revenue and international revenue. CEO Corie Barry told investors and analysts on a conference call that Best Buy intends to expand the pilot of its membership program, called Best Buy Beta, which was launched last year. At the end of the third quarter, the program will be rolled out nationally in stores and online under the name Best Buy Total Tech, giving a wider swath of customers access.
Urban Outfitters Inc. is launching the Nuuly Thrift app for secondhand goods, initiating an online resale marketplace for clothes customers no longer want. The Nuuly Thrift iPhone app and marketplace will roll out this fall with women’s, men’s and kid’s apparel and accessories. Nuuly Thrift will allow consumers to resell products from any brand, not just those owned by Urban Outfitters.
While many industry watchers saw Macy’s partnership with Toys R Us as a category expansion that will help the omnichannel retailer bring more customers online and in-store — which it likely will — the collaboration may also be a big first step toward challenging Amazon, Walmart and other digital marketplaces. Marcel Hollerbach, chief innovation officer at eCommerce tech company Productsup, told PYMNTS that as retailers look to create hybrid approaches for stores and eCommerce operations, “you see more and more retailers becoming marketplaces themselves,” especially those with a customer base the size of Macy’s.