- Walmart's Jet Black, New York City [Members Only] shopping service will be closed on February 21st.
- The Wall Street Journal Sarah Nassauer first reported that Walmart's own company would close.
- However, Walmart may still be able to use the technology developed by Jet Black.
- A Walmart spokesman told Business Insider that the retailer would "focus on how Walmart's infrastructure can be used to make conversation trading scalable."
- You can find more stories on the Business Insider homepage.
Walmart announced that it will close its exclusive concierge shopping startup Jet Black on Thursday. The service will be officially discontinued for members in New York City on February 21.
The Wall Street Journal Sarah Nassauer was the first to report that Walmart would close the $ 50 / month monthly membership service, which was launched in New York City in 2018. The company was the "first portfolio company to be launched from store # 8, Walmart’s" startup incubator, according to a statement about the company website,
Jenny Fleiss, CEO of Jet Black, left the company in 2019. Walmart SVP for e-commerce logistics Nate Faust took on her role.
Over 350 Walmart employees work on the Jet Black service. A Walmart spokesman told Business Insider that 293 jobs would be cut and 58 employees would continue to be employed. The spokesman said that the company is moving Jet Black "from incubation to our wider business" under the retailer's customer organization.
"As we said when we launched Jet Black in 2018, part of the initiative was to test and develop the technology, with the intent that it could be used in other ways, including application to others Parts of our business in the US future, "said the spokesman. "We have learned a lot over the past two years, including how customers respond to the ability to order via SMS and the type of items they buy via SMS."
Before, The Wall Street Journal reported that Walmart attempted to sell its personal shopping service, which was reported to have lost $ 15,000 per member annually.
This is not the first digital start-up from Walmart to undergo a major change recently. In November 2019, Jet.com from Walmart discontinued its fresh food delivery service in New York. In January 2020, the company announced that 29 of its 56 New York-based e-commerce employees would lose their jobs. The affected office houses Allswell, Walmart's mattress brand.
"We are integrating many of these brands as retail brands into Walmart as we further deepen our category competency and strengthen our ability to offer customers a wider range of products," a Walmart spokesman told Business Insider at the time.
The Walmart spokesman told Business Insider that after Jet Black's final closing on February 21, the company would focus on "how Walmart's infrastructure can be used to make conversation trading scalable."
"We're only beginning to explore how the features developed in Store # 8 can complement and use to improve the customer experience," said Scott Eckert, Principal of Store # 8, in a statement at Walmart website, "We look forward to sharing more news from the team as we work together to shape the future of retail at Walmart."