After years of trying to place a store in New York City, Walmart has finally found a way. Rather than opening a super-center, Walmart is opening a fulfillment center for its online store, Jet.com. Walmart is racing to build up its online sales across its portfolio of internet properties, including Walmart.com, Jet.com, Bonobos, Moosejaw, Modcloth and others.
Walmart sees Jet.com as a way to reach wealthier urban customers it doesn’t currently serve with its stores. Sarah Nassauer reports on the strategy at The Wall Street Journal:
Since Walmart purchased the Hoboken, N.J., startup and placed its founder Marc Lore at the head of its U.S. ecommerce business, Jet has narrowed its focus to wealthier, urban customers, often in areas where Walmart has few or no stores.
In New York, Jet will enter a crowded market for fast grocery delivery—including from Amazon.com Inc., which offers one- and two-hour delivery of some food and general merchandise through its Prime Now service. It also owns Whole Foods, which has stores in the city.
FreshDirect began delivering groceries in New York more than a decade ago, but the internet grocer added a service in 2016 that offers faster, same-day food delivery.
Jet hopes to compete by promising to deliver both food and merchandise like Apple iPhones to shoppers in tight, scheduled windows, Mr. Belsham said. “The control element, I think, is as important as speed” to online shoppers awaiting deliveries, he said.
Previously, Jet delivered groceries to New York and other Northeastern cities, but generally in two days via parcel services like FedEx Corp.
The company hasn’t yet decided on the delivery window or pricing for the service, Mr. Belsham said, but to start it will only handle Jet deliveries, not Walmart orders.
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