Walmart “drives” into a new specialty store

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Walmart “drives” into a new specialty store

By Louisa Hallett - 10/16/2018
Walmart evolves to match Amazon strategy with this new partnership.

Walmart moves towards an Amazon-like strategy with a new auto partnership that could heat up the competition for the e-commerce giant.

The company announced a comprehensive, strategic partnership with Advanced Auto Parts that will create an automotive specialty store on Walmart.com. Expected to begin rolling out in the first half of 2019, the new omnichannel shopping experience will provide customers with access to Advance’s extensive portfolio of aftermarket automotive parts, accessories and maintenance items.

“This year, we’ve been incredibly focused on building our offering on Walmart.com to ensure we have the specialty assortment that our customers are looking for,” said Phillip Oaks, Vice President and Group General Manager, Retail Merchandising, Walmart eCommerce. “In line with this focus, we are thrilled to be partnering with Advance, which will bring us its industry leading automotive product assortment and know-how. This comprehensive partnership will enhance almost every aspect of the automotive customer shopping experience – from the product offering online to fulfillment capabilities.”

Related: Are auto parts no longer Amazon-proof?

This partnership demonstrates a similar Amazon tactic. Amazon has been moving into auto parts, teaming up with auto parts makers and redesigning its auto parts website as it looks for a piece of the $50 billion DIY aftermarket parts market. In August, Amazon and Sears announced an expansion on there “Ship-to-Store” partnership, which allows people who buy any brand of tires on Amazon to have them delivered to Sears auto centers and installed on their vehicles.

The new specialty store will complement Walmart’s automotive offering of common parts and accessories online and in stores, including an extensive assortment of tire, lube and battery services in more than 2,500 Walmart Auto Care Centers across the country. Launching in phases over the coming year, the specialty store will also feature a variety of Advance’s value-added content and product information. The companies also plan to work together to explore new fulfillment options that will bring customers unparalleled convenience, including home delivery, same-day pickup in a Walmart or Advance store and installation of some parts.

Related: Amazon, Sears expand tire partnership

“This is an exciting partnership for both Advance and Walmart customers,” said Tom Greco, President and CEO, Advance Auto Parts. “At Advance, we are absolutely committed to building a best-in-class omnichannel experience and Walmart is an undisputed omnichannel leader. Partnering with Walmart enables us to share our extensive product offering and trusted advice with an increased number of do-it-yourself customers and supports our long-term strategic objectives.”

As of April 21, Advance operated 5,044 stores and 131 Worldpac branches and employed approximately 71,000 Team Members in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The company also serves 1,225 independently owned Carquest branded stores across these locations in addition to Mexico and the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, British Virgin Islands and Pacific Islands.

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