May 29, 2014

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon said the world's largest retailer may use 3D printers for producing supplies and may also target a 3D printing acquisition.

McMillon expressed interest in buying 3D printers that could be used in stores for customers to quickly print new design or new product. Speaking on stage Wednesday at the Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California., McMillon said the company has recently tested 3D printers in several stores, showing customers how it works and letting them create their own 3D printed 'mini me'.

"3D printing is interesting to me," said McMillon. McMillon believes 3D printing could help its distribution centers speed up shipments. "We can use 3D printing over time for replacement parts."

But the 3D printer industry also presents a threat for retailers. 3D printing allows customers to create small parts or components at home, potentially reducing the need for consumers to go to the store.

McMillon said the company's pace of acquisitions is going to accelerate and that the company's target could include 3D printing companies, according to Bloomberg.

In response to a question on Wal-Mart buying 3-D printing companies, McMillon said it might make sense "in some cases." More generally, the retailer is planning to ramp up acquisitions and partnerships, he said.

"We've been more acquisitive lately, especially for talent," McMillon said. "And our pace of acquisitions, I think, is going to accelerate."


Posted in 3D Printing Company

 

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