Wal­mart’s Jet.com to tar­get mil­len­ni­als with higher-end gro­cery line

Richmond Times-Dispatch Weekend - - Business - By The As­so­ci­ated Press

Wal­mart’s Jet.com will launch a higher-end gro­cery line tar­get­ing mil­len­ni­als, just over a year af­ter Wal­mart spent more than $3 bil­lion for the fast-grow­ing on­line re­tailer amid in­tense com­pe­ti­tion from Ama­zon.

Ama­zon.com Inc. last month closed on its ac­qui­si­tion of Whole Foods as other ma­jor play­ers, in­clud­ing Tar­get and su­per­mar­ket chains, fight for a big­ger slice of the gro­cery mar­ket.

Jet.com said Fri­day that the new brand, called Uniquely J, will fo­cus on younger cus­tomers in ur­ban ar­eas. The ser­vice will of­fer them se­lect cof­fee, olive oil, pa­per tow­els and other prod­ucts.

Jet.com, which sells prod­ucts in­clud­ing cloth­ing, gad­gets and home fur­nish­ings, also will be car­ry­ing some niche brands, in­clud­ing ModCloth and Bono­bos, that Wal­mart ac­quired in re­cent months. ModCloth is now start­ing to be car­ried on Jet, while Bono­bos will be some time next year, ac­cord­ing to Wal­mart.

The moves are part of an over­all strat­egy by Marc Lore, who founded Jet.com in 2015 and is now head of Wal­mart’s U.S. ecom­merce, to set the startup apart from the Wal­mart.com web­site and add an up­scale sen­si­bil­ity.

Jet.com is built on a real-time pric­ing al­go­rithm that ad­justs prices based on items in a check­out cart and how far away they are from a shop­per’s home. So as shop­pers add items to their cart, they are en­cour­aged to con­tinue shop­ping and build a more ef­fi­cient cart, buy­ing items la­beled “smart cart” for more sav­ings.

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