Will ShoeBuy.com boost Walmart’s online performance?

Carol's latest Retail Wire weigh-in, on Walmart's acquisition of ShoeBuy.

Acquisition is a great way to play a quick game of category catch-up but not everyone is taking the same approach. Amazon’s acquisitions of category killers such as Quidsi (Diapers.com and other fill-in-your-niche dot-coms) have been largely defensive. Amazon’s philosophy seems to be, “if you can’t beat them, eat them.” By contrast, Walmart is leveraging acquisitions to grab tech talent and ensure category relevance. Footwear is a logical foray as Zappos acclimated millions of shoppers to buying (and easily returning) shoes online. Walmart can ride in Zappos’ wake and bolt on a bevy of national brands, accompanying content and user relationships/data.

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