Walmart Absorbing Jet.com Staff Into its Operations
Walmart announced Thursday that it's eliminating the president position at Jet.com and folding the e-commerce company's divisions into its own. The reorganization is part of an effort to merge the brands after Walmart bought Jet for $3.3 billion three years ago. Walmart current Jet President Simon Belsham will oversee the transition through August before his position is eliminated. Reportedly, Walmart isn’t planning to cut jobs and expects existing Jet employees to move into new roles within the retail giant. It declined to say how many employees currently work at Jet, whose main offices are in Hoboken, N.J. 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.
Soon after Walmart bought Jet, its executives, including founder Marc Lore, took over responsibility for all of Walmart’s U.S. e-commerce business. In a blog post earlier this week, Lore, the current president and CEO of Walmart eCommerce U.S., said "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.
Total Retail's Take: Jet.com was the first of several acquisitions by Walmart of digital-native brands that have helped to increase the big-box retailer's digital reach and expertise as it looks to take e-commerce market share away from its top competitor, Amazon.com. According to Lore's blog post, after Walmart acquired Jet, "our combined supply chain team has retooled fulfillment centers and mirrored inventory. This initially led to two-day free shipping and, more recently, free next-day delivery, all without a membership fee." In addition, he said, "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."
Last year, Jet relaunched with a focus on offering local goods, everyday items and groceries. Jet will continue its focus on serving urban shoppers in other cities where Walmart has few or no stores. "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," Lore said.