Walmart Has Big Plans for Retail Media With Vizio Acquisition

Retailer enters into an agreement to buy the TV maker for $2.3B
Emily Crowe, Progressive Grocer
Walmart Vizio
Walmart's acquisition of Vizio will exponentially enhance its retail media offering.

Following speculation about a possible acquisition, Walmart revealed that it has entered into an agreement to purchase Vizio Holding Corp. for $11.50 per share in cash, or approximately $2.3 billion. According to Walmart, the acquisition will enable the company to connect with and serve its customers through innovative television and in-home entertainment and media experiences.

Walmart further shared that the acquisition of Vizio, along with its SmartCast Operating System (OS), would further accelerate its Walmart Connect retail media business in the United States, by combining Vizio's advertising solutions business with Walmart’s reach and capabilities. Those benefits would be strengthened by the growth of connected TV platforms and Walmart’s industry-leading TV panel sales.

“There is a lot to be excited about with this acquisition,” said Seth Dallaire, EVP and chief revenue officer at Walmart U.S. “We believe Vizio’s customer-centric operating system provides great viewing experiences at attractive price points. We also believe it enables a profitable advertising business that is rapidly scaling.”

[RELATED: Walmart Makes 9% Increase to Annual Dividend]

Continued Dallaire: “Our media business, Walmart Connect, is helping brands create meaningful connections with the millions of customers who shop with us each week. We believe the combination of these two businesses would be impactful as we redefine the intersection of retail and entertainment.”

Vizio was founded in 2002 with a mission to deliver immersive entertainment and innovative connected home devices to consumers at great value. The company’s growing device ecosystem and its SmartCast OS have amassed more than 18 million active accounts, growing approximately 400% since 2018.

“We believe this is the ideal next chapter in Vizio’s history. By bringing our capabilities and resources together, we’ll drive innovation and create even more value for our customers,” said William Wang, CEO of Vizio. “Walmart’s approach is aligned with Vizio’s mission and vision, and our technology will help bring a scaled, connected TV advertising platform to Walmart Connect. This transaction delivers immediate and compelling value to Vizio stockholders and is a true testament to the hard work of the entire Vizio team.”

Deborah Weinswig, CEO of Coresight Research, told Progressive Grocer that she believes Vizio's position in the value segment of the consumer electronics market aligns well with Walmart's customer demographic, and that the acquisition could strengthen the retailer's position against competitors both in stores and online. The move will also help Walmart continue to change the retailer/brand landscape. 

"In addition, it could help [Walmart] improve their supply chain. Vizio's direct-to-consumer sales model, particularly through its SmartCast platform, could offer Walmart valuable insights and capabilities in enhancing its own D2C channels," Weinswig said. "This is increasingly important as retail margins become thinner and control over the customer experience becomes a competitive advantage. We believe this is a huge opportunity for Walmart to extend their Retail Media Network capabilities as well."

As for Walmart Connect, the business grew 30% for fiscal year 2024 while continuing to innovate on omnichannel solutions for a wide array of advertisers. The business offers Walmart suppliers and sellers attractive opportunities to reach their desired customers no matter where, how, and when they shop.

Each week, about 240 million customers and members visit Walmart’s approximately 10,500 stores and numerous e-commerce websites in 19 countries. The Bentonville, Ark.-based company employs approximately 2.1 million associates worldwide. Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. PG also named Walmart one of its Retailers of the Century.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds