Walmart Shuffles Staff To Take Online Sales Seriously… For Real This Time

Image courtesy of Mike Mozart

Despite being the nation’s largest retailer, Walmart still lags behind Amazon and others when it comes to online shopping. The company has spent billions of dollars in just the last year, buying Jet.com and ShoeBuy, so maybe it’s time for Walmart to finally get serious about sorting out e-commerce.

Walmart issued an internal memo Friday announcing the departure of one executive and expanded roles for two others in a bid to “become a more customer-centric organization.”

As part of the changes, the company will put more focus on integrating physical and online store operations.

To that end, it has promoted Jeremy King to executive vice president and U.S. chief technology officer and global platforms. That mouthful of a title means that he will lead the company’s tech organization to bring together physical and commerce technology to create seamless experience for customers.

“Whether they shop in-store, through the app, or online,” Marc Lore, president and CEO of Walmart’s commerce division, said in the memo. “The team will work to define and deliver experiences we want” for Walmart.

Additionally, Scott Hilton will be promoted to senior vice president and chief revenue officer will be tasked with creating a retail organization “designed from the customer’s point of view.”

To do this, the company says it will build on exiting categories like food and consumables, and expand areas like apparel, footwear, home, and other categories.

“Our strategy is about offering more choice, competitive prices – particularly on food and consumables – and operating on the strength of the world’s most efficient e-commerce supply chain,” Lore said.

The retailer says it will also focus on encouraging and implementing new ideas through its senior vice president of incubation and strategic partnerships, Seth Beal.

While the memo obtained by Consumerist did not mention any departures, Recode reports that Michael Bender, the e-commerce division’s chief operating officer, would leave the company.

The recent acquisitions of Jet and ShoeBuy indicate that Walmart may finally be digging in for an online battle with Amazon, but the company also has a history of talking a big game about e-commerce only to give up or change direction.

In 2013, one former Walmart.com exec confessed that the retailer went through a yearly ritual of starting a “five-year planning exercise, but the plans were never executed and management would say the sales weren’t there to justify the investment capital.”