May 22, 2018
In job listings, the new division describes itself as a “members-only personal shopping and concierge service that combines the convenience of e-commerce with the customized attention of a personal assistant.”
And soon it will be reborn as a brick-and-mortar enterprise targeted at affluent city women. “Jetblack is currently in beta in Manhattan,” the brand’s current website says. It invites visitors to request early access.
The startup is being led by Rent the Runway co-founder Jenny Fleiss, who joined Walmart last year to helm the initiative. Since then, Walmart has revealed little about the project.
However, Recode has been on the case for awhile. In January, the news outlet reported, “A new Walmart subsidiary, called Code Eight, has recently started testing a personal shopping service for ‘busy NYC moms,’ according to multiple sources, with the goal of letting them get product recommendations and make purchases simply through text messaging.”
The targeted customers of Jetblack are not among Walmart’s traditional base—white, 50-year-old females with annual household incomes of about $53,000.
Indeed, according to an online job listing, Recode reports, the new enterprise is being marketing to the “high net worth urban consumer.”
Household items are delivered for free within 24 hours; other purchases are delivered within two business days. Returns are picked up for free at a customer’s apartment building or house.
In addition, Recode reports, Jetblack is one of several projects being run under a Walmart startup incubator called Store No. 8. Others include Project Kepler, a startup working to build cashierless stores.
Research contact: @DelRey