Walmart denies considering a UK marketplace to rival Amazon
A report on Thursday suggested that Walmart could be planning to one day launch an e-commerce marketplace in the UK that could rival the dominance of Amazon in the space. But Walmart has denied this categorically.
The former owner of Asda is currently encouraging UK sellers to sign up to Walmart Marketplace with analysts from delivery specialist ParcelHero suggesting this could precede a full launch in Britain. However, Walmart said it "has no plans to launch a UK Marketplace at this time".
Walmart opened up its US-focused Marketplace to international sellers a little over a year ago and ParcelHero thinks that the fact that it's actively wooing UK sellers could be about more than simply getting even more international operators selling through its US site.
Walmart is the second-largest online seller in the US, having overtaken eBay last year.
ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks, said: “It may only be a year since Walmart pulled out of Britain, selling its Asda chain to the UK’s Issa brothers, but the good news for shoppers is that the US giant is actively pursuing British sellers to join its Walmart Marketplace.
“It’s staging a global sellers summit in London on 17 June, billed as ‘an opportunity for UK-based e-commerce sellers to explore how to grow their business as part of Walmart Marketplace’.”
The event is aimed at introducing British businesses to its US marketplace of 120 million monthly customers, but ParcelHero thinks it may have "unfulfilled ambitions in the UK”. It said that “Grace Xu, Walmart’s (significantly titled) Lead of UK Business Development will be speaking at the event”.
ParcelHero added that “a move into the UK would make sense in many ways. Amazon’s UK turnover was £4.8 billion (over $6.55 billion) in 2020 and 86% of Britons shop on Amazon. Which retailer wouldn’t want a slice of this action?”
However, there would be major hurdles in that in selling Asda, it no longer has a massive stores network through which to facilitate deliveries and returns as it can via its Walmart chain in the US. Another hurdle is its lack of logistics set-up in Britain.
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