The New York Times this morning that fashion retailer Lord & Taylor “is teaming up with Walmart to create an online store on Walmart.com that will offer about 125 fashion brands, including Tommy Bahama, La La Anthony, H Halston and Effy.

“Billed by both companies as a ‘premium’ shopping destination, the new online store reflects Lord & Taylor’s desire to reach a wider audience and Walmart’s hope to attract a different type of customer.”

KC's View: It is interesting to see how Walmart is dipping not just its toe, but an entire foot or two, into upscale marketing - it isn’t just Lord & Taylor, but also Moosejaw, Bonobos, and the like. It remains to be seen whether these additions will make Walmart’s online presence seem more robust, or more fractured, to shoppers; the only problem, it seems to me, will be if Walmart is defining its online business in terms of the competition instead of in terms of its customers.

I do think that Lord & Taylor’s reputation may exceed what it actually delivers. The Times refers to it as “fading,” and I’d agree.