Walmart is heating up competition in the home furniture and furnishings space with the launch of MoDRN, a private label brand featuring nearly 650 products including beds, sofas, dining sets, barware and countertops.
The retail giant certainly has plenty of established opposition in the home space, including West Elm, Wayfair and Crate and Barrel. But like many initiatives Walmart has launched in recent years, the home push seems to be aimed at taking the fight to its larger general merchandise counterparts. Amazon in particular has continued to grow its furniture and furnishings business with its Rivet and Stone & Barn private label brands, while Target has introduced numerous brands of its own, such as Project 62 and Hearth & Hand with Magnolia.
MoDRN furniture will be grouped in three collections: Retro Glam, Refined Industrial and Scandinavian Minimal. Additional collections will be unveiled in the coming months, according to a blog post from Anthony Soohoo, SVP and Group General Manager, Home, Walmart U.S. eCommerce.
Beyond the products, which are designed to provide an “elevated look and feel that you would typically find at a specialty store, without the elevated price tag,” Walmart has an opportunity to differentiate these offering via hands-on assembly services. In August 2018, Walmart expanded its partnership with assembly and installation services company Handy, which provides indoor installations such as hanging televisions or assembling furniture. The retailer rolled out the service nationwide in September.
Walmart.com generated a nearly 35% increase in visits to its Home destination within the past year, with the company adding “hundreds of thousands” of items in that time, the post indicated. The decision to craft the new private label brand comes nearly a year after the retail giant unveiled a completely revamped, localized Walmart.com, which included specialty shopping experiences specifically catered to home and fashion verticals.
With Lord & Taylor jumping aboard as the first third-party retailer to open its own store on the new platform and higher-end fashion brands such as Steve Madden and Calvin Klein selling on the site, Walmart is turning itself into a destination focused on offering high-quality products ranging across all prices. In December, Walmart acquired Art.com, an art and home décor retailer to bring more home products into the fold.
MoDRN products are available on Walmart.com, Jet.com and Hayneedle.com.