June 12, 2019
By Marc Lore, President and CEO, Walmart eCommerce U.S.
When we started Jet back in 2014, it was hard to imagine that we’d be changing lives at the scale we are today as part of Walmart. Walmart acquired Jet over two years ago, and it was incredibly exciting that Doug empowered the team and me to take on a role much bigger than running the Jet site, tasking us to help accelerate Walmart eCommerce overall. I’m really proud of our performance since then, with 40 percent eCommerce growth last year, but I’m much more excited about what we’ve been able to do for customers.
The Power of Integrating Teams Following the Jet Acquisition
After the acquisition, we merged many Jet and Walmart teams to become one, and created incredible new customer experiences. Our combined supply chain team has retooled fulfillment centers and mirrored inventory. This initially led to two-day free shipping, and more recently, free NextDay Delivery, all without a membership fee. The smart cart technology we built for Jet played a big role in making that possible. Our combined retail team has added incredible new brands, including private brands with Sophia Vergara, Ellen DeGeneres, Drew Barrymore, and a lot more. They’ve built amazing tools like FlightDeck to put data at our merchants’ fingertips, and created a new baby registry and PetRX.
Repositioning the Jet Business
Last year, we repositioned the Jet site itself. Across most of the country, we saw we could get a much higher return on our marketing investments with Walmart.com, so we’ve dialed up our marketing spend there. However, in specific large cities where Walmart has few or no stores, Jet has become hyper focused on those urban customers. It added iconic local brands in New York and brought in products from brands like Apple and Nike that you haven’t seen on Walmart.com. While this has made Jet smaller from a sales perspective, it has helped us create a smart portfolio approach where our businesses complement each other.
Continuing the Integration of Teams
Bringing together talent from Jet and Walmart into joint teams has created more opportunity for our business and our people. We’re now merging the rest of our Jet teams, including Retail, Marketing, Technology, Analytics, Product and several others within Walmart. With the teams creating synergy and Jet becoming even more focused, we don’t have the same need for a dedicated leader, so Jet president, Simon Belsham will be supporting the Jet transition through early August. Simon has been critical in repositioning Jet to reach urban customers. His steadfast leadership, deep knowledge of the retail industry and passion for our associates and customers had a positive impact on our organization. I can’t thank him enough for all he has done and appreciate his leadership and contributions.
Moving forward the strategy and management of Jet will sit under Kieran Shanahan, who will continue to oversee the Food, Consumables and Health and Wellness Categories for Walmart eCommerce. Kieran began his Walmart career with Asda, eventually leading all of its e-commerce operations. He joined Walmart eCommerce in 2014 and led the build out of the US Online Grocery service before transitioning to merchandising roles within Walmart U.S. His experience and the relationships he brings from multiple areas of the business will be critical for the further integrated role Jet will play within our portfolio. This natural progression of integrating an acquisition, allows us to fully leverage Walmart’s assets for Jet and leverage Jet’s talent for Walmart.
Jet continues to be a very valuable brand to us, and it is playing a specific role in helping Walmart reach urban customers. The focus has largely been on NY so far, and we’re looking at other cities where we might bring together Jet’s expertise and the scale and operating model of Walmart. More to come on that.
We’re proud of the work our associates have done. Our teams are continuing to innovate, and we’ll be bringing more incredible experiences to customers and associates. I can’t wait to share more of those this year.