WASHINGTON (AP) Walmart plans to begin selling some items online in an effort to boost sales, a move that could have wide-ranging economic benefits for the retailer.
Walmart said Wednesday it plans to start the online-only program in early 2018 and to sell the items to retailers at the same prices as the stores that sell them in-person.
Wal-Mart spokeswoman Susan Scholz said the retailer would sell the new items through its online-retailing program in select cities and towns across the country.
Scholz also said that Walmart plans not to make the changes at Walmart Supercenter stores.
The stores are Walmart’s most profitable locations, with nearly $4.4 billion in sales last year.
The move could create a ripple effect across the retail industry.
Stores like Wal-Mart are already selling goods through other channels to boost their profits.
They are also likely to offer discounts and other promotions to lure shoppers.
Schols said Walmart had begun offering discounts to shoppers using their Walmart Card online accounts and that the company would continue to make those deals available to other retailers.
She declined to provide additional details about the program.
Walter Robb, the former chairman of Walmart, has said online-access discounts could help Walmart grow in the coming years.