In its second-largest acquisition, Amazon buys the company for $970 million.
The retailer’s Facebook fans can start shopping by clicking a link on its Facebook page.
This Monday, Aug. 12, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will throw its own back-to-school version of the post-Thanksgiving online shopping holiday known as Cyber Monday. The Walmart.com-only sale will feature discounts of up to 60% off on about 300 popular back-to-school items, including school uniforms, tablets, laptops and school supplies, Wal-Mart says.
The retailer’s fans on Facebook will be able to access the sale a day early by visiting its Facebook page on Sunday and clicking a special link there, it says.
Walmart.com is launching the back-to-school Cyber Monday sale concurrently with a series of other online promotions, including a site-wide discount of 40% or more on all books and textbooks. It also just launched an online electronics trade-in program called “Gadgets to Gift Cards” in which a consumer can put in the makes and models of her used cell phones, tablets, MP3 players, video games and other gadgets, along with their conditions (working or not working) to receive an appraisal value. Wal-Mart then gives her a printable shipping label that lets her send the items in for free. The shopper then receives a gift card for the value she was quoted, redeemable online or in the chain’s stores.
For college shoppers, Wal-Mart’s research and development arm @WalmartLabs also just released a new budget planning tool called “Amazing on a Budget.” A shopper begins by choosing a type of checklist, for example “dorm room basics,” and the products she’s looking for, such as bedding sets, desk lamps and rugs. Then she enters her desired budget and the tool generates a list of recommended items that satisfy her needs without exceeding her spending limit. She can click for more choices and add products to her list or the shopping cart. If she purchases online, she can either ship the items to herself or request to have them ready for pickup in a store.
Walmart.com this summer also updated its back-to-school shopping site, Classrooms by Walmart, which @WalmartLabs created last year.
Wal-Mart is No. 4 in the Top 500 Guide.
Web marketplace Rakuten Inc. is also holding a limited-time sale this month, which is pegged for back-to-school though not exclusively for that annual event, according to chief operating and marketing officer Bernard Luthi. With its August Super Sale, the Tokyo-based company aims to make a splash with U.S. shoppers, who it is still wooing to its brand since buying online discount retailer and marketplace operator Buy.com in 2010, he says.
Meanwhile, other retail chains are featuring prominently back-to-school sales on their e-commerce sites this season, including Kohl’s Corp., No. 26 in the Top 500; Best Buy Co., No. 10; OfficeMax Inc., No. 11; J.C. Penny Co. Inc., No. 34; and Sears Holdings Corp., No. 6.