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Just text to summon your personal shopper with Walmart's new Jetblack service

By CNET

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  • The rebranding is a nice touch since people tend to associate the Walmart brand as generic and low cost.

    While dethroning the Goliath that is Amazon at this point seems unimaginable, it's necessary for the sake of capitalism. Who would have thought Walmart would have ever been the David in this storyline?!

  • Great move for Walmart and target consumer is spot on. I use Google Express in the Bay Area and Walmart is part of that list of vendors. It’s not text order, but it’s super easy and convenient. You add items to your cart and everything is delivered within 24 hours. At some point instead of using different apps or texting different shopping vendors, will one company just consolidate service offerings because it’s starting to be too many options and that means my credit card info is out there a lot!

  • Ernie Sander
    Ernie SanderDirector of Platform Community at Quartz

    Sure, props to Walmart for rolling the dice with this, and trying to one-up Amazon. But would anybody on NewsPicks actually sign up for it? Pay five or six times what Prime costs just so someone else will put their item in their shopping cart for them? I know I wouldn't.

    Also, Manhattan and Brooklyn aren't exactly breeding grounds for Walmart shoppers—in fact, the retailer is effectively banned from NYC, thanks to opposition from the mayor, unions, even some consumer groups.

    And when you get outside

    Sure, props to Walmart for rolling the dice with this, and trying to one-up Amazon. But would anybody on NewsPicks actually sign up for it? Pay five or six times what Prime costs just so someone else will put their item in their shopping cart for them? I know I wouldn't.

    Also, Manhattan and Brooklyn aren't exactly breeding grounds for Walmart shoppers—in fact, the retailer is effectively banned from NYC, thanks to opposition from the mayor, unions, even some consumer groups.

    And when you get outside of rich urban enclaves like NYC, last data I saw said the typical Walmart customer is a 51-year-old female with an annual household income of $56k. Jetblack makes even less sense for them, of course.

    Is Walmart trying to carve out a whole new Walmart customer with this initiative--one who doesn't already shop in its stores--or target some subset of its existing customers? It's not clear to me.

  • Maggie Chan Jones
    Maggie Chan JonesproFounder & CEO at Tenshey, Inc.

    Kudos to Walmart for trying a different strategy and business model. With their core customer base being the value, everyday-low-price shoppers, are they going to pay $600/year for “private shoppers”? The affluent market doesn’t associate with the Walmart brand, especially with the different choices of personal shoppers in NYC. It’s a brand challenge. Interesting to see how this will unfold.

  • Radical inhibiting pressure removal FTW. $50 isn’t actually an insanely large amount of money for someone who likely is considering a personal assistant anyway and this will get you a large portion of the way there. The real smart deal? Buy Alfred.

  • James Randorff
    James RandorffMusician, Instructor at US Navy

    This is an example of completely missing the target market. By the time anyone can afford a personal shopping service, they probably aren't shopping at Wal*Mart.

  • Interesting move. $50/month isn’t a small price tag — particularly for value conscious WALMART shoppers. So this will be interesting to watch. Widening the net to brands outside of WALMART (eg Saks) also a great frenemy move. Will WALMART be able to regain its status in an amazon dominated world? We’ll see. Clearly India is a key growth market and they doubled down there as they backed out of the grocery space in the UK.

  • Groom Dinkneh
    Groom DinknehVP, Business Development at GoLocker

    Walmart is bringing high touch personalization thru text commerce to attract more affluent customers. Whether it appeals to the masses or not is yet to be determined, but it’s the right play providing a new level of convenience. And the biggest yield is how it doesn’t require additional resources to bring to fruition (all this done through Jet’s existing supply chain channels).

    It’s amazing to see Walmart iterate and expand projects like Jetblack so quickly and credit goes to bringing in talent such as Mark and Jenny from Rent the Runway.

  • Making the life for busy mom or dad’s easier is an excellent mission so their angle here of creating a service that can specifically benefit them is pretty great. They do have an advantage with same day service with all the Walmart stores they have so if they can make that work consistently it can be pretty valuable. There is a race to who can get a consumer what they need faster and this is a step towards trying to win. Things like this are needed to have a shot vs amazon.

  • It looks expensive partly because humans help you pick, wrap and etc.. Probably some intelligent assistance for saving delivery cost though. They may not expect too many subscribers as this business can’t scale. Or if it manages to do well, it will be like Stitch Fix.

  • Whoever approved this idea at Saks should be fired. DOA. Doesn’t anyone read the news about how Walmart and Amazon are the leaders in corporate welfare? Saks 5th Ave. & Walmart? It doesn’t make sense.

    We are moving towards a ‘membership economy’... Walmart is for those who can’t afford anything else. “Walmart’s new Jetblack service...” come on CNET, you’re smarter than this.

  • A Kahlon
    A Kahlon

    Great initiative towards the more affluent....not an everyday Walmart customer where the focus is on saving every single penny through savings.

  • Alper Miller
    Alper Miller

    Wow this could be huge!

  • Charmainedenise hoeppner sanchez
    Charmainedenise hoeppner sanchez

    C

  • Keng Siang
    Keng SiangFasion at ATS

    Hoppen

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