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Walmart to Move Upmarket with Specialty Brands

07/11/2019

Recognizing the need to provide a broader range of products to attract a higher-income demographic, Walmart will now stock more specialty food brands. This decision follows the Summer Fancy Food Show held in New York in late June. Walmart has indicated that it may stock selected products and brands in a limited range of stores.

Kevin Head, VP and Division Manager of Breakfast and Bread stated “If you think about the overall breadth and scope of Walmart, over 90 percent of all Americans live within ten miles of a Walmart store. We have customers who are rich, poor and everything in between. It’s the customer that’s the driving force behind our overall strategy and that’s where you will see a lot of change being sparked.”

Walmart is also extending technical assistance to start-ups and small companies to create products that can be sold in specific geographic regions. This strategy was initially adopted by Whole Foods Market in the 1990s and resulted in disaffection and financial hardship when Amazon acquired the company 1n 2017 and effectively cancelled the program.

Laura Rush, VP and Division Manager of Frozen Brands stated “We believe the customer deserves access to everything. Not just cheap food, but good food, great food and we are trying to figure out the right recipe to make sure we do it the right way.”