Walmart has announced it plans to buy home decor site Art.com.
Art.com Is The World’s Largest Online Art Seller
Art.com is one of the largest online art sellers in the world with more than two million curated images in its inventory. It sells limited-edition prints on paper and canvas, posters, frames, and assorted wall decor items. It also provides custom framing services for artwork and user-generated photo images. The art marketplace seller recently reported more than $300 million in annual sales.
Walmart Adds Young, Affluent Customers
Walmart has been on a buying spree of niche e-commerce companies. Following its $3 billion acquisition of Jet.com, it now counts Bonobos, Shoes.com, Eloquii, Bare Necessities, Moosejaw, and ModCloth in its stable. Walmart’s eCommerce CEO Marc Lore said Walmart could own as many as forty digitally native brands before is acquisition efforts are complete.
The move is seen as an attempt by the retails to attract younger consumers that don’t shop in-store and also to compete against Amazon. Art.com has a reported 12 million customers worldwide which skew high income, highly educated, and younger than Walmart’s current shoppers.
“This will enhance the customer experience with millions of additional choices for art, wall decor and personalized print-on-demand capabilities while creating a richer, deeper shopping experience across the home category,” the company said in making the announcement.
Walmart also acquires augmented reality technology from Art.com, where nearly a quarter of its customers now use a feature called ArtView. This allows shoppers to see how a piece of artwork would look in their home before ordering. Since the majority of Art.com’s inventory is printed on demand, this allows for customization without large inventory holding capacity.
Walmart is expected to roll out similar tech in other business categories.
Critical To Winning The Home Market
Walmart sees “winning the wall” as a critical step in competing in the $10 billion annual wall art and home décor market. Competition abounds in the wall art and home decor market. Amazon, Ebay, and Etsy have significant footholds as do niche online retailers including Fine Art America, Artspan, and Artspace.
Walmart plans to continue Art.com as a standalone website while also selling to other online retail sites. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed. The transaction is expected to be complete in early 2019.