Facebook, Walmart To Explore Relationship Options

By Justin Lafferty 

Facebook and Walmart have been in the news this week for comical reasons. Now the heads of the two companies are meeting this week at Walmart headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., in an effort to bolster their relationship.

CNBC and Reuters published a story Thursday noting that Facebook Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg will meet Walmart CEO Mike Duke and his lieutenants Friday. Then, Zuckerberg and Sandberg will speak to hundreds of Walmart employees Saturday during the company’s monthly meeting.

Representatives from Facebook and Walmart declined to say exactly why they’re meeting, other than stating that it’s an effort to boost the relationship between the social network and the retail giant:

In a statement, Facebook said it was looking forward to working to “deepen” its relationship with Walmart, and noted that Facebook can learn from the retailer’s “experience and management team about building a strong, durable, and valuable company for the long term.”

Walmart’s Facebook page has more than 17 million fans, and the company also pays to advertise on Facebook. Expanding its reach online is key for Walmart as shoppers increasingly shop on their computers, tablets, and smartphones.

According to the Reuters story, Walmart sometimes has celebrities speak at monthly meetings. A few notables: Denver Broncos Quarterback Peyton Manning; actors Harrison Ford, Robert Pattinson, and Emilio Estevez; and chef Paula Deen.

Readers: What do you think the two companies will talk about?