BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart Inc. and Advance Auto Parts Inc. are forming a partnership that will lead to an online specialty automotive parts store accessible through Walmart.com.
The "omnichannel" shopping initiative, expected to roll out in the first half of 2019, will provide customers with access to Advance's extensive portfolio of aftermarket automotive parts, accessories and maintenance items, the companies said.
"This year, we've been incredibly focused on building our offering on Walmart.com to ensure we have the specialty assortment that our customers are looking for," Phillip Oaks, vice president and group general manager, retail merchandising, Walmart eCommerce said.
"In line with this focus, we are thrilled to be partnering with Advance, which will bring us its industry-leading automotive product assortment and know-how. This comprehensive partnership will enhance almost every aspect of the automotive customer shopping experience — from the product offering online to fulfillment capabilities."
The new specialty store will complement Walmart's automotive offering of parts and accessories online and in stores, including an extensive assortment of tire, lube and battery services in more than 2,500 Walmart Auto Care Centers across the U.S.
Launching in phases over the coming year, the specialty store also will include Advance's value-added content and product information, the partners said.
The companies also plan to work together to explore new fulfillment options that will bring customers unparalleled convenience, including home delivery, same-day pickup in a Walmart or Advance store and installation of some parts.
"This is an exciting partnership for both Advance and Walmart customers," Advance Auto Parts President and CEO Tom Greco said.
"At Advance, we are absolutely committed to building a best-in-class omnichannel experience and Walmart is an undisputed omnichannel leader. Partnering with Walmart enables us to share our extensive product offering and trusted advice with an increased number of do-it-yourself customers and supports our long-term strategic objectives."
The companies did not comment on the sales or earnings potential of the venture.
Charlie O'Shea, lead retail analysts for Moody's Investors Services, called the partnership "positive for both companies," and said it will provide Advance with a broader base for its products and a deeper assortment of auto parts for Walmart and its customers.
"The auto parts sector continues to benefit from favorable industry dynamics, including increasing age of vehicles in the U.S., which adds to the mutually-beneficial nature of this strategic tie-up," he said.