Marc Lore Integrates Wonder’s Food Halls into Walmart

"Wonder's Integration"

Former Walmart e-commerce head, Marc Lore, is introducing food halls from his start-up, Wonder, to Walmart’s physical retail locations. This move is the latest in Lore’s ongoing efforts to integrate digital elements into Walmart’s traditional brick-and-mortar stores, once again showcasing his legacy of innovation.

Established in 2018, Wonder offers customers the ability to choose from a diverse array of cuisines in a single location. Talented chefs like Bobby Flay and Marcus Samuelsson contribute to the menus, which also feature in-house recipes. Initially focused on delivery, Wonder has expanded to include an immersive dining experience aimed at offering quality and variety to food enthusiasts.

Since its inception, Wonder has secured nearly $1 billion in funding, with Lore’s own contribution standing at $200 million. The company is now looking to increase its capital by an estimated $500 million in an upcoming funding round.

Daniel Shlossman, Wonder’s head of growth and marketing, has revealed that while the company initially aimed for a ‘fast fine’ dining model, it has since adapted its food hall concept to become more flexible in response to changing market trends. The long-term relationship between Lore and Walmart is likely to have facilitated this shift.

New steps for Wonder’s partnership with Walmart includes a 750 square foot storefront in a Walmart shopping center, accommodating eight quick-service food categories. Plans are underway to further expand this physical presence in Walmart by launching two more such storefronts in the next few months, and a potential fourth location is under discussion.

Despite starting with a focus on delivery, Wonder has revised its strategy to accommodate in-store dining or pickup, while maintaining its primary focus on delivery. Recent data indicates a growing customer preference for onsite dining. In line with this, Wonder plans to open several more branches in the tristate area in the coming year. Further expansion plans include securing rights to use names and recipes from highly-acclaimed chefs, via cash settlements or start-up shares.