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Why Did Walmart Buy Art.com? Because the Superstore Is on the Hunt for HENRYs

December 12, 2018

 We Are Art

 

Mega retail corporation Walmart is venturing out into the art and home decor market with last week’s acquisition of Art.com. It’s a move that makes sense for Walmart, which is looking to expand its customer base to younger, more affluent shoppers—the kind of people who have discretionary income lying around to buy a painting to hang over their couch.

 

According to market researcher Pamela N. Danzinger, Walmart is on the hunt for HENRYs, an abbreviation of “High Earners Not Rich Yet.” Making between $100,000 and $250,000 in household income, HENRYs are just 25 percent of the population, but punch above their weight when it comes to consumer spending, accounting for 40 percent of the country’s total, Danziner wrote in Forbes.

 

In 2015, a consulting firm identified the typical Walmart customer as a white, 50-year-old woman with an average household income of $50,000. By comparison, Danzinger writes, Art.com likely attracts a much younger and more affluent demographic: Research by her consultancy company, Unity Marketing, finds that the average art and framing customer is under the age of 45 but makes more than $100,000.

 

Art.com is a 20-year-old company, and it averages $300 million a year in revenue, according to Walmart, which called it “the world’s largest online retailer in the art and wall décor category.” The new parent company will keep the original domain going, as well as cross-listing art.com products on its main site and the Walmart-owned Jet.com.

 

Of late, Walmart has been on a buying spree, with plans to grow to include as many as 40 online brands in order to better compete with Amazon—which, of course, has its own