Why Walmart Is Partnering With This Luxury Brand

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Update: Lord & Taylor is officially expected to launch a flagship store on Walmart.com in spring 2018, according to a rep for the brands. It promises to be "a specialized online experience offering premium fashion brands."

This story was originally published on October 20.

In an effort to become a bigger online-shopping destination and rival Amazon, Walmart is planning to partner with Lord & Taylor by giving the luxury department store space on its website, sources told The Wall Street Journal.

You might be wondering why the big-box store is teaming up with the oldest luxury department brand in the U.S., known for its designer bags and special-occasion dresses. The Journal reported that this deal is likely an initial step in creating a larger online-shopping hub, which could also house men's clothing brand Bonobos and online retailer Jet.com. During the past 15 month, Walmart has bought Bonobos, Jet.com, and ModCloth.

Meanwhile, Amazon is continuing to court brands like Nike, which currently sells some products directly through the retailer — and is also looking to develop its own brand of athletic wear, according to Fortune.

Lord & Taylor was founded in 1826 and has 50 locations, mostly in upscale areas. The reported partnership could potentially include customers being able to pick up their Lord & Taylor orders at Walmart.

Earlier this year, Walmart announced home delivery in an attempt to keep up with Amazon Prime's next-day delivery service, as well as with stores like Target, another brand that's relatively new to fast delivery.

Time reported that in January, Walmart introduced a free two-day delivery service for orders $35 and over in order to compete with Amazon Prime's free two-day shipping program, which is offered through its $99 annual membership. In response, Amazon knocked down its free-shipping minimum for non-Prime members to $25.

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