Raul Vazquez wants to be the Grinch who steals Christmas -- for Wal-Mart, that is.
Vazquez, the CEO of Walmart.com, says he expects as much as a 30-percent gain in online sales this holiday season compared with last year. That would far outpace the 8-percent to 10-percent projected rise in industrywide retail e-commerce this year. Total U.S. holiday retail sales are expected to be $438bn, down 1 percent vs. last year, according to the National Retail Federation.
By integrating the inventory of three third-party retailers under a program dubbed Marketplace that launched in August, the site now offers 1.5 million items, 10 times the inventory of a typical Wal-Mart Supercenter. New categories include health and beauty aids, which were added in October. "We don't have food -- yet," Vazquez says, smiling portentously.
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