Wal-Mart Overhauls E-Commerce Division to Compete With Amazon
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is overhauling its e-commerce team and elevating executives from its recently acquired Jet.com business in an effort to better match how customers are shopping today — not just at its stores but on its main website and Jet.com. The changes are meant to make Wal-Mart more “customer-centric,” said Jet founder Marc Lore, who is now CEO of Wal-Mart’s e-commerce operation, in a memo Friday that was obtained by Bloomberg. Key promotions include naming Scott Hilton, former chief revenue officer of Jet.com, to the role of chief revenue officer of Wal-Mart, charged with aligning the company’s various online retail, marketplaces and digital stores. Jeremy King, meanwhile, of @WalmartLabs, has been promoted to U.S. chief technology officer, bringing together Wal-Mart’s retail and e-commerce technology teams. As part of the realignment, hundreds of headquarters’ jobs will be eliminated before the end of January.
Total Retail's Take: The move makes sense for Wal-Mart. Traditional retailers are struggling to both compete with online retailers as well as to align their organizations to meet the needs of consumers, who are shopping both online and in-store. When traditional brick-and-mortar retailers began launching websites years ago, leadership teams were often separate. However, as the world has changed and many consumers shop both online and in-store, more retailers are moving to integrate teams from two separate operational divisions to one. While it sounds like a simple concept, it can be difficult to execute. Some argue it's necessary integration pain, and Wal-Mart is later to the game than other retailers.
Melissa Campanelli is Editor-in-Chief of Total Retail. She is an industry veteran, having covered all aspects of retail, tech, digital, e-commerce, and marketing over the past 20 years. Melissa is also the co-founder of the Women in Retail Leadership Circle.