Walmart intends to introduce a tablet under its private-label brand Onn that sells tech accessories, Bloomberg reports . The tablet will come from a Chinese supplier and use the Android operating system. Its price, release date, and various other details are not yet known.

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The addition of the tablet is reportedly part of a broader redesign of Walmarts electronics section, continuing the retailers efforts to bolster its offerings in specific product categories.

  • Walmart has previously revamped its apparel and home sections online to improve its overall e-commerce performance.The retailer partnered with Lord & Taylor to create a section for premium brands on its site, and kicked off its redesign of Walmart.com with its home section, launching its private label MoDRN to build out the selection. By focusing on the products and shopping experiences of specific product categories, Walmart can potentially make parts of its site stand out from those of competitors, like Amazon. This is especially true when its able to add exclusive brands through partnerships and private labels, as they directly differentiate its offerings.
  • Adding a tablet isnt Walmarts first step in improving its consumer electronics assortment.Walmart launched Motile a private label focused on tech accessories in December. While the brand is still in its early days, its introduction, in combination with the planned tablet, suggests that Walmart is targeting the tech category. The retailer has good reason to focus on consumer electronics since Amazon is now the industry leader in the US, giving Walmart the opportunity to compete with its chief e-commerce rival in a market with hundreds of billions of dollars in annual sales.

The strategy of adding private-label consumer electronics, specifically the tablet, may not work as well in the category.The market for tablets is crowded and competitive, with a number of high-profile brands with well-established products. Consumers may not be as interested in buying Walmarts tablets and other devices as they would be in accessories because a device is a bigger investment, and its quality may be of particular concern. To try to help its tablet's performance, Walmart should make it as inexpensive as possible to appeal to its price-conscious consumer base. This would allow the device to stand out and possibly find a niche, which is important as it would likely struggle to compete head to head with products like Apple's iPad.

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