August 11, 2016

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. could buy retailer

A retail merger could link Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and a rival.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the company behind the Walmart brand, may make a new acquisition soon. Reuters reported that the business could be preparing to purchase the online retail company Multiple sources have stated that Jet has been not just a competitor with Wal-Mart in the past, but also one of the store's other rivals, Amazon.

As of this writing, the deal is still in progress and does not come with a specific price. The deal is notable for a number of reasons, in part because of the differences between the two companies. Not only is Wal-Mart more established, Jet's brand identity stems from a focus on smart algorithms and operations-friendly software that could make it a valuable addition for the older brand, as the Wall Street Journal noted.

In addition to this, Jet has infrastructural benefits it could bring to its new owner, such as warehouses, the Journal said. The company has also surpassed $1 billion in value faster than most other startups, after starting with a $600 million worth last July, the same source added.

Quartz spoke to Liza Landsman, chief customer officer for Jet, about the business' interesting model, which does not include standard subscription or membership fees. The annual fee was going to build off of the initial free trial offer.

"We launched with a free trial period," Landsman said. "We quickly saw people were adapting to the real-time dynamic pricing and felt we didn't need to levy the fee to get the savings rate for consumers that we thought was attractive to them."

Other Walmart acquisitions in recent years include Kosmix, a social media company which Walmart bought in 2011. The business announced this in a press release at the time, explaining the value of its social media platform.