To break away from D2C crowd, SmileDirectClub announces retail partnership with Walmart

Today, SmileDirectClub announced a partnership with Walmart to sell a new line of oral care products, including toothbrushes, teeth whitening treatments, a water flosser and more. For one of the top teledentistry companies, this represents a move to make its business more compelling to customers and investors alike.

Following news of the deal this morning, SmileDirectClub shares spiked, with the stock currently trading up about 21% at $10.19. That’s significant for a company that had one of the worst first-day performances of any initial public offering over $1 billion in the U.S. since 2007. Still, SmileDirectClub’s stock is nowhere near its IPO price of $23.

SmileDirectClub’s entrance into the more traditional dental care space is clearly a move to try to differentiate itself from the likes of smaller startups like Uniform Teeth and Candid, while also creeping into oral healthcare startup Quip’s territory. As the dental care space gets more crowded, it’s no wonder why SmileDirectClub is looking to expand into already-proven business models.

SmileDirectClub’s main competitor in the more traditional dental care space — other than legacy brands like Crest and Colgate — is Quip. The New York-based startup has raised more than $60 million in funding and has sold its oral care products at Target since October 2018.