The online retailer plans to begin selling laser printer cartridges as soon as the end of the year, a move that could change the way people use their iPhones and iPads, according to two people familiar with the plans.
Walmart’s move could also help the retailer boost its efforts to become a destination for online purchases, which have slowed in recent months.
Walmart, which has been trying to boost its online presence since it launched its first e-commerce store in 2006, has focused on a limited portfolio of e-books, magazines, videos and other digital products.
Last month, Walmart also opened its first store in China, a sign of the retailer’s ambitions to diversify its offerings.
The company is also investing heavily in online video and e-book distribution, and the company recently announced it would be launching a video streaming service.
But as Walmart moves toward more full-service brick-and-mortar stores, it is also looking to offer online services to its consumers.
That would be especially important in the United States, where online shopping has been growing faster than retail, as consumers look for more convenient ways to buy products online.
Walmart has been investing heavily to increase its online footprint in recent years, but the company’s plans for new outlets and its strategy to create its own online shopping platform could create more opportunities for the technology giant, the people said.
The move to make laser cartridges comes at a time when Amazon is moving toward creating its own full-fledged online service.
The online retail giant is set to launch its own video-streaming service this year, and Amazon recently announced that it is going to begin offering a video-sales platform.
Walmart is also developing a product-ordering system for online shopping.
The Walmart Store in San Antonio, Texas, is shown in this April 6, 2020, file photo.
REUTERS/Mike Blake/Files Photographer: Mark Wallheiser Walmart has a longstanding relationship with Amazon.
The retailer has a direct connection to Amazon’s fulfillment centers and warehouses in New York, Seattle and Los Angeles, the sources said.
Walmart also has a large network of warehouses that are in the same states as Amazon fulfillment centers, the two people said, adding that the company does not have a specific goal of becoming a major online competitor to Amazon.
Walmart did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Walmart previously had a direct relationship with Dell, a global computer chip maker, and Dell was also working on an online store with Walmart, the person said.