03:59 PM
50% Relaunches With Open Source Features

The retail site includes open source OpenLaszlo and Flash, but excludes the HUB, Wal-Mart's experimental social networking site.

The world's largest retail has relaunched after a 13-month overhaul.

Complete with features built on open source OpenLaszlo and Flash, interactive functions in the toy section aim to entertain kids, as well as help adults find detail product information and reviews to make the correct buying decisions, said Debbie Kristofferson, Brisbane, Calif.-based vice president of user experience.

More than 1,000 categories and 2 million pages are affected by the redesign that part of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s effort to sell more stylish big-ticket items, and to lure more shoppers to the Web. About half its in-store shoppers that have internet access already shop online, the company said.

Along with the new look, said aims to provide quick checkout, taking the customer through the buying process in four easy clicks.

The changes are the first major revamp since's return to e-commerce in 2000, just in time for the holiday season where an estimated 300 million visitors will log onto the site during the next few months to search on the goods, said Raul Vazquez, chief marketing officer.

Notably missing from, The HUB, Wal-Mart's experiment in social networking launched earlier this year to promote back-to-school season fashions for kids. The site was up for about six to eight weeks.

The site meant to provide Wal-Mart a way to connect with kids not used by the big-box retailer in the past. "We didn't intend to keep the site up, and we're always looking for innovative ways to reach customers," Vazquez said. "Some of the ways work, and others are opportunities for us to learn."

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