Walmart will now offer lines of credit to eligible marketplace sellers.
The credit comes via Marcus by Goldman Sachs, according to Jeff Clementz, VP, Walmart Marketplace.
“Walmart.com is increasingly becoming customers’ primary shopping destination, and our expanded Marketplace assortment is a big reason why,” he said. “Last quarter, our Marketplace delivered triple-digit growth. Access to affordable capital is more important than ever as businesses large and small work to adapt and evolve to serve customers and grow their businesses.”
Initially, approved Walmart sellers will have access to lines of credit from Marcus of between $10,000 to $75,000. Seattle-based Amazon earlier this year launched a similar program for small-business owners selling on its marketplace, with up to $1 million in credit offered to those businesses. The fixed annual interest rate for the Amazon program reportedly range from 6.99% to 20.99%.
As for Bentonville, Arkansas-based Walmart, it plans to substantially increase the maximum line amount available in the future. “The rates are competitive, with the most creditworthy businesses qualifying for the lowest rates,” Clementz said.
Walmart said that lines of credit offer businesses the flexibility to access money when they need it, which could help them move fast and meet surging customer demand.
“It could also help fund innovation as we’re all working to adapt to constantly changing customer behavior and preferences,” Clementz said. “We often say we want to use our size and scale for good, and giving small businesses access to inexpensive capital is one way we’re doing this. Healthy small and medium businesses are critical for our communities to succeed, and we will continue looking for ways to help them navigate these unprecedented times.”
Earlier this year, Walmart division Sam’s Club said that it would donate $1 million to a national nonprofit organization that provides financing to small businesses – one of the latest ways that retailers are trying to offset the massive economic damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The members-only retailer said that those donations could ultimately help small businesses that buy from Sam’s Club to at least stay on their feet until the economy starts to reopen. Many businesses source food and related supplies from Sam’s Club, which, of course, also sells items to individual consumers.