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Walmart will combine its store, online buying teams, according to company memo

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Cashiers ring up shoppers at a Walmart Inc. store in Burbank, California, U.S., on Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019.

Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Walmart is restructuring the company to combine its team of buyers for Walmart.com and its team of buyers for the company’s stores as the big-box retailer aims to turn e-commerce into a profitable business, according to a company memo sent Tuesday. 

Walmart previously relied on the separate teams to choose products and prices for its website and stores. The two sides of the business have separate chief executives. Marc Lore, the founder of Jet.com, leads Walmart’s e-commerce in U.S. John Furner leads the store side of the business.

Walmart is shaking up the structure of the buying teams. They’ll be broken up into six merchandising teams: apparel, consumables, entertainment, food, hardlines and home. The teams will buy all of Walmart’s items in that category, regardless of where they are sold.

Lore and Furner will stay in their roles. Merchandising teams will report to both of them, according to the company memo.

The restructuring of the buyer teams was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Walmart has seen a surge of e-commerce growth, fueled by its online grocery business. It reported online sales growth of 35% during the period and 37% for the year.

But the e-commerce side of Walmart’s business has been costly and it’s not yet profitable. Walmart also missed Wall Street’s expectations for the fourth quarter, after a holiday season with weaker sales of toys and apparel. The company expects e-commerce growth to slow to about 30% in fiscal 2021, but said it’s focused on driving up the sale of general merchandise such as apparel.



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