Only a few years after acquiring the company, Walmart has quietly announced plans to shut down the online retailer Jet.com. The revelation was nestled within Walmart’s newly published quarterly financial results, with the company noting that it will ‘discontinue’ Jet due to the ‘continued strength of the Walmart.com brand.’ Walmart had paid $3 billion to acquire the company.
Jet.com is an online-only retailer that gave Walmart an avenue for competing with Amazon. The acquisition was confirmed in August 2016 when Jet was still in its infancy, but the relationship wasn’t destined to work out. Walmart will focus on its own online store, which is complemented by the company’s large number of physical retail locations throughout the United States.
In its Q1 2020 financial results [PDF], Walmart notes, “The acquisition of Jet.com nearly four years ago was critical to accelerating our omni strategy.” No additional commentary on the company is provided and Walmart has not made a larger announcement about its plan to shutter the service at this point in time.
In the past couple of years, we’ve increasingly seen Walmart transition from a focus on a warehouse-based online retail strategy to one that revolves around the large stores it already has in every state across the US. The company has rolled out pickup lockers at most of its stores, enabling customers to order products from Walmart.com, then retrieve it from the locker at their local store.
As well, Walmart has seen a huge spike in demand for its online grocery ordering, pickup, and delivery service; the company recently announced a new Express Delivery option that delivers goods to customers within twp hours, a timeframe that Amazon cannot currently compete with. Walmart previously experimented with various Jet-related offerings, as well, such as the defunct Jet Black service, but ultimately the online-only shop didn’t prove terribly successful for the company.