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US retail giant Walmart has launched a drive to recruit UK sellers to its online marketplace with access to a two-day shipping service to help them tap into a 120 million-strong US customer base.
The former Asda owner – which last year sold the chain to the billionaire Issa Brothers and private equity backers TDR Capital – wants to boost UK exporters on its marketplace amid government efforts to encourage the trade of UK goods beyond the EU, and strengthen the £200 billion trading relationship between the UK and US.
It said British sellers who are approved to join the marketplace will have access to a range of tools and services to make the most of sales to the US – including use of its supply chain services to ship goods from its US warehouses to customers in America during non-peak times in two days.
The group, however, warned that the two-day shipping promise may not be possible during peak times, which fall between September and January.
The push for UK sellers to join the marketplace comes amid global disruption in the shipping industry and worldwide supply chain.
Problems have been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, which has caused delays at ports and warehouses and restrictions on air travel including reduced air freight capacity.
Walmart is hosting a UK sellers summit on June 17 to promote the benefits of its marketplace, with support from Payoneer, an online payment provider which allows businesses and marketplaces to send and receive payments globally, and Linnworks, an eCommerce platform which connects businesses and customers.
Darren Carithers, senior vice president of marketplace development for Walmart International, said: “We are confident that UK sellers will be able to leverage Britain’s reputation for design and manufacturing excellence and product quality to thrive as Marketplace sellers and bring more choice to our US customers with speed and scale.”
UK companies who have already joined the platform include STATSports- which creates wearable technology for professional and amateur sportspeople – and Pertemba, which exports a variety of products across the globe.
Walmart started inviting third-party US sellers to its marketplace in 2009, with international sellers joining the site from 2021 onwards.
It expects to add 40,000 sellers to the platform this year alone.