February 8, 2019

Walmart’s New MoDRN Collection Cashes in on Mid-Century Modern for a Fraction of the Price

Part of the ‘Retro Glam’ line of Walmart’s new MoDRN collection of furniture.

Mid-Century Modern enthusiasts have long flocked to the likes of CB2, West Elm, and Design Within Reach. With the launch of MoDRN, Walmart now offers its own pieces in the enduring design aesthetic for just a third or even a quarter of other retailers’ prices. Key elements of the collection seem to be very heavily inspired by designs from the likes of Milo Baughman and Michael Anastassiades.

The MoDRN collection is offered online only. This extension of the category killer’s e-commerce strategy has allowed the brand to offer more specialized merchandise without shelling out for store distribution costs—and to sidestep the risk of allocating floorspace to an experimental product offering. This carefully calibrated strategy has likely helped merchandise allocators price the collection’s offerings competitively.

A ‘Retro Glam’ dining set from the MoDRN collection.

The full range of the collection is delineated into three product lines with colloquial, rather than designer-specific names: Retro Glam, Refined Industrial, and Scandinavian Minimalism. Prices range from: $700-$900 for sofas, $600-650 for beds, $20-$60 for barware, $200-$700 for indoor and outdoor dining sets.

Anthony Soohoo, SVP and group general manager of Walmart’s e-commerce home products, said the line “incorporates high-end features,” according to a press release shared by the brand today. The release goes on to specify that these features are mostly in finishes and accents, such as “solid wood features in white oak and walnut,” “hand brushed metal and brass accents,” and “Carrera marble tabletops.”

Part of the MoDRN collection’s ‘Refined Industrial’ line.

It remains to be seen how exactly Walmart’s first serious foray into design-minded homewares will impact the expansive market of high-end furniture retailers.

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