Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer by sales, is expanding its outdoor gear business, announcing Wednesday it is buying equipment manufacturers that make welding equipment and other outdoor equipment.
Walmart has a longstanding relationship with a number of suppliers, including the manufacturer of its own welding equipment.
It also has a long-standing relationship with the maker of other outdoor gear, called the Welding Industries Association of America, which manufactures welding equipment for its stores.
Walmarts outdoor gear sales jumped by nearly 20 percent in the first quarter of 2017 to $2.5 billion, according to the company’s latest annual report.
That’s up from a 0.5 percent increase in the same period last year.
In addition to buying welding equipment, Walmart has also announced plans to expand its outdoor apparel business and a new partnership with the National Rifle Association to offer military-style gear to customers.