Walmart venture wants to be your concierge

Walmart is testing an online personal shopping service for “busy NYC moms,” according to a report published Friday.

What was called Code Eight is now being called Jetblack, with the service designed to give product recommendations and let users make purchases through text messages, according to the tech-news website Recode, which cited multiple sources.

Contacted by CBS MoneyWatch, a spokesperson for Walmart declined comment.

Visitors to its launch site are greeted with: “Nice work, you found us.” It also informs visitors: “Jetblack is currently in beta in Manhattan” and offers an option of asking for early access.  

Recent job listings posted by Code Eight describe it as a “members-only personal shopping and concierge service that combines the convenience of e-commerce with the customized attention of a personal assistant.”

The retailing giant hired Jennifer Fleiss, a cofounder of Rent the Runway, to help oversee the startup last year, Recode reported.

Walmart’s tech incubator, called Store No. 8, was launched in March 2017 as part of the company’s effort to grow beyond brick-and-mortar stores, and compete with online retailer Amazon. Among its e-commerce acquisitions last year was menswear retailer Bonobos, whose founder Andy Dunn has become a leading Walmart executive for digital efforts.

Since acquiring for more than $3 billion nearly two years ago, Walmart has solidified its presence online, and the company’s better-than-expected profit report on Thursday illustrating a rebound in e-commerce sales. 

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