Walmart is taking another bite out of a multitrillion-dollar industry and bringing SmileDirectClub electric toothbrushes and toothpaste to more than 3,800 stores
- Walmart is teaming with buzzy teeth-straightening company SmileDirectClub on a line of exclusive oral care products that include an electric toothbrush, specialty toothpastes, and an ultrasonic UV cleaner.
- The partnership is part of Walmart's larger strategic push into the $3.5 trillion US healthcare industry, building off the debut of its first health clinic in Dallas, Georgia, in September 2019.
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For Walmart, the partnership is a strategic push into growing its oral health sector, coming on the heels of the opening of its first health clinic in Dallas, Georgia, in September. The experimental clinic - which features primary care, dentistry, and counseling services - is designed to provide lab tests and dental cleanings at 30-50% below competitors by cutting out middlemen.Likewise, SmileDirectClub's primary draw is a more affordable approach to orthodontia. The company cuts costs by bypassing in-person appointments and selling dental aligners for a fraction of the cost of traditional braces or Invisalign services.
However, some critics and dental health professionals say SmileDirectClub's business model ultimately sacrifices quality. Adding to SmileDirectClub's woes, its IPO was the worst debut in 12 years for a US company, and the company has since continued to struggle amid several market stumbles. In November, SmileDirectClub reported net losses of $387.6 million for the third quarter of 2019, up from $15 million the year prior.Whether a Walmart partnership can help SmileDirectClub course correct remains to be seen, though it will undoubtedly help increase the company's visibility. The products are expected to be sold on Walmart.com and in more than 3,800 Walmart stores, according to a press release. "SmileDirectClub's debut of oral care products in mass retail extends our mission to be the consumer's first resource for safe, affordable, and convenient oral care solutions," SmileDirectClub's chief global brand officer, Josh Chapman, said in a statement.
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