RETAIL NEWS

Walmart changes name amid growing emphasis on e-commerce

BY Marianne Wilson

The discounter on Wednesday announced that it is changing its legal name from Wal-Mart Stores to Walmart Inc., effective Feb. 1, 2018. The move reflects the chain’s growing emphasis on e-commerce and its positioning as a retailer with integrated online and offline operations.

“Our customers know us as Walmart and today they shop with us not only in our stores but online and with our app as well,” said Doug McMillon, Walmart president and CEO. “While our legal name is used in a limited number of places, we felt it was best to have a name that was consistent with the idea that you can shop us however you like as a customer.”

In a blog post on the company’s web site, McMillon said the change not only the company’s strategy to win the future of retail, but is also a bit about returning to the company’s roots.

You might be surprised to learn that, when Sam Walton opened the first store in 1962, the name on the front of the building was simply, “Walmart.” A few years later, we incorporated as Wal-Mart, Inc., and amended the name to Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., when we went public in 1970,” McMillon wrote.

Walmart operates under nearly 60 different banners around the world, including e-commerce sites, and has more than 11,600 stores and clubs in 28 countries. It will continue to trade on the NYSE as WMT.

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Target launches payment system within its app

BY Gisselle Gaitan

Target is introducing a new way for consumers to pay for their purchases while never having to leave the company’s app. The Minneapolis-based retailer has launched Wallet in the Target app.

With Wallet, consumers can pay for purchases using their Target REDcard and find savings with Cartwheel — all within a single scan of their phones at checkout, the company said.

“Wallet in the Target app makes checkout easier and faster than ever,” said Mike McNamara, Target’s chief information and digital officer. “Guests are going to love the convenience of having payment, Cartwheel offers, Weekly Ad coupons and gift cards all in one place with Wallet.”

Checkout is four times faster than any other payment type, the company said. Along with being able to search for savings, this new service also will combine digital savings, offer Weekly Ad coupons with the 5% REDcard discount and allow gift cards to be redeemed in the near future. Wallet is currently available on both Android and iOS versions of the Target app.

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Kroger expands Instacart delivery partnership to QFC divisions

BY Gisselle Gaitan

Home delivery service will now be available from Kroger’s QFC divisions, located in Puget Sound, Wash., and Portland, Ore. The company is once against partnering with Instacart, a key driver in the grocer’s Restock Kroger Plan: Expand Partnerships to Create Customer Value and Redefine the Food and Grocery Customer Experience.

“By offering home delivery in addition to in-store shopping and online ordering for curbside pickup, we are listening to our customers who are telling us they want the convenience of shopping anyway they choose,” said Suzy Monford, president of QFC. “We know that our customers are busier than ever but still want to feed their families fresh, healthy foods that are available at low prices. This new partnership allows our customers to have their groceries delivered to their doorsteps as soon as two hours after placing an order.”

QFC delivery powered by Instacart will allow customers to place orders from 4,000 available products – including perishables, by building a digital cart. A delivery window from 9 am to midnight will be available, with a home delivery fee will be waived for first-time customers.

“Instacart customers prefer doing their online grocery shopping from local stores, where they know the products,” said Andrew Nodes, vice president, retail accounts for Instacart. “We are thrilled to partner with QFC to give our customers in Portland and Seattle a new convenient option for shopping at their favorite local QFC store.”

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