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Walmart throws weight into home improvement

The world’s largest retailer is taking steps to display its home improvement prowess through a digital marketing campaign centered on a “Projects Made Simple” area at Walmart.com.

The area is organized by home improvement project. For instance: how to stain a deck, install a water filter system, caulk a window or install a towel bar. In the deck video, an unidentified handy-man narrator explains, “All the tools are available at Walmart to get you going." 

The website also lets users download a project sheet with tips and instructions.

Walmart has long dealt in home improvement products, but the latest effort e-blasted to customers with the invitation to “Explore Walmart’s complete solution to make home do-it-yourself projects simple” marks an aggressive change for DIY. The e-blast listed the three key features of the online tool: checklists, instructions and how-to videos.

Home improvement specialists of all sizes have long felt insulated from competition from the mass retail channel due to specialized training and product knowledge of employees on the sales floor -- a sophistication that they feel stores such as Walmart cannot match. But even if a more focused campaign from Walmart moves the perception needle even slightly, the results could be dramatic given Walmart’s sheer size.

In 2011, Walmart’s sales in the United States were $264.2 billion. The company operates 3,804 Walmart stores in the United States.


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