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Advance Auto Parts Will Drive Onto Walmart.com

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Walmart has unveiled a partnership with Advance Auto Parts to create a specialty auto parts store on Walmart.com. The online store will sell common auto parts and accessories, including tires, lube and battery services, both online and in the 2,500 Walmart Auto Care Centers nationwide. The retail giant already has built flagship online stores for Lord & Taylor and Moosejaw.

The Advance Auto Parts partnership comes on the heels of two major acquisitions for Walmart: plus-size fashion retailer Eloquii and intimates retailer Bare Necessities. But unlike these acquisitions, the Advance partnership includes brick-and-mortar elements.

Launching in phases over the coming year, the specialty store will feature a variety of Advance content and product information. The partnership also will enable the retailers to offer home delivery and same-day pickup in both Walmart and Advance stores, as well as installation services for some auto parts.

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But both the Advance partnership and the fashion acquisitions do serve a similar imperative for Walmart — to compete against Amazon for market share. Last year, Amazon began selling aftermarket auto parts, which account for $48 billion in annual sales in the U.S.

“This alliance will provide Advance with a broader base for its products, with a partner in Walmart that is rapidly accelerating its online presence, and provides Walmart and its customers with a deeper assortment of auto parts,” stated Moody’s Lead Retail Analyst Charlie O’Shea in commentary provided to Retail TouchPoints. “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.”

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