But for now, the focus is "to allow us to make our stores
relevant locally at scale," he said.
He declined to disclose financial considerations or exactly how
Walmart will promote the app, but he said it would likely draw on
the giant retailer's traditional media mix, including in stores. He
also said the partnership includes an unspecified amount of
advertising with Facebook.
The deal brings together two of the biggest institutions in U.S.
marketing -- Walmart, which gets about 150 million shoppers
monthly, and Facebook, with 165 million U.S. users.
The overlap is huge, but it's centered on Walmart's 9.4 million
Facebook fans. So, at least for now, Mr. Quinn doesn't foresee the
app displacing circulars it distributes via newspapers or direct
mail or the local radio advertising it does around such events as
"Over time, I guess if it became a really huge scale effort, it
might have that impact," Mr. Quinn said. "But right now it's not
really impacting us in that way, because it's really an extension
of what we ought to be doing anyway, which is paying attention to
what customers want."
One reason Walmart wanted to get the app out before the
holidays, Mr. Quinn said, is that it lets users download maps of
their local stores to their smartphones to find Black
Friday-discounted merchandise in the store.
Much of the information directed at local store shoppers will be
based on data analysis by marketers and merchants at the retailer's
Bentonville, Ark., headquarters, he said, but there will also be "a
local override" that lets store managers customize content.
But the app will also allow Walmart to tailor marketing based on
local weather events or such things as Nascar races and fishing
tournaments, Mr. Quinn said. At least initially, such
communications will come only about twice a week to avoid
"bombarding" customers, he added.