Walmart's Web Push Includes Turning CEO Into Yoga-Mat Salesman
If you’re in the market for a yoga mat this holiday season, Marc Lore has a deal for you.
The Walmart Stores executive, who runs the chain’s US online business, is taking on a second job as a salesman for the mats on Walmart.com. US Chief Technology Officer Jeremy King, meanwhile, is working on pitching abdominal-toning machines. And the e-commerce unit’s chief revenue officer, Scott Hilton, is overseeing exercise balls.
They’ve been locked in a 90-day contest since 5 October to see who can improve the performance of their assigned product category.
The idea is to throw the executives into the trenches during the holiday season, giving them a better sense of how they can challenge Amazon in the cutthroat world of e-commerce. They’ve been working alongside the regular category specialists, helping to make the staff more efficient in their roles.
“It’s fun, but it also gets us to understand a day in the life of merchants,” King said in an interview.
The contest comes amid a recruitment drive at the Walmart online business, which has been revitalised since the company acquired Lore’s startup Jet.com last year.
E-commerce sales have grown by at least 60% in recent quarters, helping the retailer chip away at Amazon’s dominance. Walmart will give an update on its progress when it reports third-quarter results on 16 November.
Archimedes Stuk, a senior director of retail analytics at Walmart, will determine the winner of the contest - based on measures like sales, assortment and overall customer experience.
What will the victor get? “Respect,” King said.