With its $300 billion acquisition of American Express, the chain is taking its online commerce to a whole new level.
Now, as the retailer looks to diversify its business, the company is turning to the banks for the cash it needs to do so.
“We’re going to do a lot of things that we can’t do in the traditional way,” Chief Financial Officer Mark Walder said in a conference call with analysts last week.
“We’re not going to have our traditional retail model.
We’re not just going to say, ‘Well, we’re going take your credit card numbers.’
We’re going go in and take your checking accounts.
We want to be able to make sure that we’re able to operate that way.”
It sounds like a radical departure from how traditional retail operations operate, but Walder says Wal-mart has “taken it upon ourselves” to find a way to make its online business more efficient.
The company has set up a network of partners who will work with Wal-Marts retail stores, helping them sell items and get credit.
The partners will also help Wal-Man’s customer service team work with customers.
“When we do our retail and it is our core business, we have to have the capacity to handle all of our online operations, whether that’s from a warehouse, whether it’s through a distribution center, whether the products that we sell through our stores are going to be delivered by our warehouse or our distribution center,” Walder told analysts.
“You can’t just have the infrastructure that you have today, you have to make a conscious decision to not just do that, but do it differently.”
The company is also looking at partnering with banks, and Wal-Martin has a partnership with the Bank of America.
Wal- mart is also expanding its online store business, bringing the total number of stores it has online to more than 6,000.
“Our goal is to have about a thousand new stores by the end of 2020, and we’re working on that now,” Walter said.
Wal-Mart is looking to open new stores in cities around the country, and a few new locations in California and New York.
One location in Dallas is being built with the help of the Dallas-based Bank of Commerce, which is also one of the biggest retailers in the U.S. It will be a retail hub in the city and will have a mix of stores including a large, high-end store, a casual and a more upscale store.
Walmart has been testing different online stores and offering different products to its customers.
But it also wants to find ways to offer its customers something that is unique, something that will give it a competitive advantage.
“If you look at our customer service, we’ve done a great job of providing a lot more value to our customers through our online service, and that has been one of our strengths, but we have a lot to learn,” Wal- man said.
“So, we want to get in front of the consumer, and do a better job of delivering that.”