Despite Walmart’s disappointing Q4 results, Marc Lore is here to tell you that they’re staying the course, and that he’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
Marc Lore, president and CEO of Walmart e-commerce and Andy Dunn, founder and CEO of Bonobos and senior vice president of digital consumer brands took the stage at ShopTalk last Tuesday. They reaffirmed that the company remains committed to operating the Walmart.com and Jet.com platforms separately to appeal to different shoppers, and will continue to acquire more brands.
Since joining Walmart after their 3.3 billion dollar acquisition of Jet.com, their eCommerce sales have skyrocketed. Last fiscal years results for the first three quarters were impressive: Sales rose 63%, 60% and 50% respectively. The sour note was their fourth-quarter results, showing just a 23% increase. Those numbers caused a 10% drop in Walmart’s stock price.
Lore told Recode senior editor for commerce Jason Del Ray on stage in their Shoptalk interview, “Q4 was largely planned. We told The Street what we’d do in the quarter, and that was exactly what we did. We never give quarterly guidance and we didn’t this time. We felt that reiterating 40% growth in the next year was enough, it obviously wasn’t. We have 40% growth planned this year.”
And in a jab to Amazon: “We’re going to keep doing what we’re doing,” he said. That includes free two-day shipping with no membership fee.”
Del Rey pressed Lore on whether he would remain with the company, asking if he’d still be with Walmart in a year, “I absolutely will,” Lore answered. “It’s still early days; it’s only been 18 months now since the acquisition.”
Andy Dunn of Bonobos stated that Jet and Walmart would continue to operate separately, ending rumors of the sites eventually operating under one umbrella. Dunn stated that the Walmart and Jet consumers are different types of customers and that Walmart’s future acquisitions will be native digital brands that appeal to younger demographic and live on the Jet site.
Dunn continued, “The way we’re thinking about Jet is around this urban millennial customer, and we’re using these brands to enhance the appeal with [that customer]. We will be opportunistic about acquiring brands in other categories and [some] we’ll build ourselves.”
Lore also repeated his goals to run the Walmart commerce unit as a startup to keep things nimble. “Not a lot has changed in terms of how we’re operating — it [still] feels like a startup right now.”