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Walmart previews first portion of revamped website

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On the heels of a disappointing holiday online performance, Walmart is set to launch a new digital home furnishings shopping experience.

The revamped experience, which will roll out during the coming weeks, offers the first glimpse of a much broader redesign of the chain’s website, which will launch later this year. Also, this spring, Walmart will introduce a Lord & Taylor dedicated “flagship store” on that will offer premium fashion brands directly from the department store retailer.

The new home shopping site, which Walmart previewed in a blog on its website, will make it faster and easier for customers to browse and purchase merchandise across the category, Anthony Soohoo, senior VP and group general manager, home, Walmart U.S. e-commerce, said in the blog. It will feature curated collections and nine shop-by-style options, including modern, mid-century, traditional, glam, industrial, bohemian, farmhouse, transitional and Scandinavian. Other new features include editorial-style imagery and design tips

“Over the past year, we’ve nearly doubled our home assortment and introduced a wide variety of furniture and home decor items, like a new Scandinavian line of furniture for kids and refreshed assortment of modern furniture,” Soohoo said. “Now, it is going to be that much easier for customers to shop these items.”

Walmart’s updated online home experience aims to help it compete better with online players such as Wayfair, which ranks as the largest online-only furniture retailer, and Amazon, which debuted two of its own home brands last fall. Target is also very active in the space, with several exclusive brands and collections. Its newest brand, Opalhouse, will launch in April with more than 1,300 items across a variety of home categories. Most of the items will be priced under $30. In a blog on the company’s website, Target chief merchandising officer Mark Tritton said Opalhouse is centered around an “eclectic aesthetic.”

“The introduction of Project 62 and Hearth & Hand with Magnolia accelerated a lot of positive momentum within our home business,” Tritton wrote. “Not only are our guests responding to the individual brands, but the new brands are driving traffic and sales across the entire store. The launch of Opalhouse helps round out our Home assortment.”
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