What is Jet.com’s future after its reorg within Walmart?
Where does Jet.com fit within the Walmart universe? That’s a question that has been asked since the world’s largest retailer acquired the online startup for $3.3 billion in 2017. Perhaps, the answer is coming into greater focus with the announcement earlier this week that Walmart is folding Jet.com’s teams — analytics, marketing, product, retail, technology, et al — into its corporate web organization.
The announcement included the news that Simon Belsham, president of Jet, will be stepping down in August. The responsibility for the site will come under the direction of Kieran Shanahan, who runs the consumables, health and wellness categories for Walmart eCommerce. Mr. Belsham will help in the transition during his remaining time at Walmart.
In a blog post discussing the transition, Marc Lore, CEO of eCommerce for Walmart U.S., wrote that the latest changes are part of a process of repositioning Jet since completing its acquisition two years ago.
Jet.com, which will continue to operate after the transition, was reset last year as a site where city dwellers, living in locations where Walmart had little to no store presence, could gain access to “iconic local brands” and others not sold on Walmart.com, such as Apple and Nike. At the time, Jet was positioned as a place that offered a more “humanized shopping experience designed to inspire shoppers and reduce the time required to solve everyday living needs.” This refocused Jet, Mr. Lore wrote, helped Walmart “create a smart portfolio approach where our businesses complement each other.”
Mr. Lore emphasized that Jet remains a valuable property within Walmart, and plans call for trying to build on the success that it has found in the New York metro area, in particular, and expand to other cities that will deliver a return on its parent company’s investment.
“Our teams are continuing to innovate, and we’ll be bringing more incredible experiences to customers and associates,” he wrote. “I can’t wait to share more of those this year.”
- Update on Our U.S. eCommerce Strategy and the Role of Jet – Walmart
- Walmart’s Jet.com relaunches site, offers three-hour delivery in NYC – RetailWire
- Does Walmart need to keep Jet.com around? – RetailWire
- Why did Walmart buy Jet.com? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you see as Jet.com’s role within Walmart? Does the site have a future with its current niche or do you think significant changes will be needed in the future?