Walmart unveils online furniture brand MoDRN
Walmart on Friday unveiled MoDRN, an online-exclusive furniture brand, which includes three collections: Retro Glam, Refined Industrial and Scandinavian Minimal.
The brand includes nearly 650 items priced from $20 to $899, and is available on Walmart.com, Jet.com and Hayneedle.com. The company said new furniture and decor items will be released seasonally, according to a company blog post. The brand includes items such as sofas, beds, barware, and indoor and outdoor dining sets.
The launch comes nearly a year after Walmart.com's revamp of its home section, which Anthony Soohoo, senior vice president and group general manager of Home and Walmart U.S. eCommerce, says resulted in a 35% boost in visits to that section of its website.
The retail giant has been making several moves in recent years to revamp its home furnishings space, especially through its online channels.
The company took on Hayneedle when it acquired Jet in 2016; Jet had just snapped up the online furniture site months before. Then, about a year ago Walmart unveiled its own online mattress and bedding brand, Allswell, after revamping its online Walmart Home destination.
The expansion isn't just furniture and home goods sales. In August last year, for example, Walmart extended its partnership with Handy — an odd-job network designed to help people with furniture, lighting and small-device set up — to offer its services to Walmart.com customers just five months after the retailer began offering Handy services in more than 2,000 Walmart stores. It's a similar move to other retailers in the space, including Ikea, which acquired TaskRabbit in 2017 and rolled out its services in March.
In December last year, Walmart also began testing visual search technology through Hayneedle. The technology allows consumers to snap photos of furniture in a showroom or magazine, then use an app to find a comparable product. That's another function that competitors have adopted, including Wayfair, and similar tech applications are available from other retailers to help shoppers better visualize furniture, including Amazon's online virtual showroom and a host of apps focused on allowing customers to view furniture in their homes.
The focus on the home furnishings space has been ever-apparent for major retailers. Amazon now offers a number of private labels in the home goods category, such as Rivet. Target also expanded its home goods offerings through exclusive brands like Opalhouse and Made By Design.
However, Walmart's move to offer MoDRN exclusively online shows that the retailer has lately also been placing a greater emphasis on its e-commerce business.