In a quest to lower prices, expand inventory and provide consumers with a simple, easy online experience Wal-Mart is shelling out $3 billion to buy one-year-old Jet, an etailer that had high hopes of knocking Amazon down a bit from its etail perch.
In a statement released Monday Wal-Mart said the acquisition, which is expected to close this year, will allow the omnichannel retailer, which has struggled with its ecommerce strategy, to boost its mobile app goals and expand customer reach.
"We’re looking for ways to lower prices, broaden our assortment and offer the simplest, easiest shopping experience because that’s what our customers want," said Doug McMillon, president and CEO, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., in the announcement. "We believe the acquisition of Jet accelerates our progress across these priorities. Walmart.com will grow faster, the seamless shopping experience we’re pursuing will happen quicker, and we'll enable the Jet brand to be even more successful in a shorter period of time. Our customers will win. It’s another jolt of entrepreneurial spirit being injected into Walmart."
Jet will maintain its own identity, according to the announcement, but the retailers will share and leverage technology solutions.
"We started Jet with the vision of creating a new shopping experience," Jet CEO Marc Lore said in the announcement. "The combination of Walmart's retail expertise, purchasing scale, sourcing capabilities, distribution footprint, and digital assets — together with the team, technology and business we have built here at Jet — will allow us to deliver more value to customers."
The report of the merger arose last week following a Wall Street Journal article which neither company commented on at the time.
Wal-Mart will release second quarter earnings on Thursday, Aug. 18.
/ Judy Mottl is an experienced editor, reporter and blogger who has worked for top media including AOL, InformationWeek and InternetNews. She’s written everything from breaking news to in-depth trends. She loves a great pitch so email here, follow on Twitter and connect on LinkedIn.