Walmart has rebranded Code Eight, a subsidiary of the retail giant’s tech incubator Store No. 8, to Jetblack. In 2017, Code Eight started testing a personal shopping service for “busy NYC moms”, designed to enable shoppers to buy and research products via text messaging.
Rent the Runway Co-Founder Jenny Fleiss is in charge of the service. Fleiss first joined Walmart to lead the initiative in May 2017.
Walmart is currently beta testing the platform in Manhattan. Visitors to Jetblack.com are greeted by a landing page that says, “Nice work, you found us!” There is a button on the page enabling users to request early access to the program.
Jetblack is Walmart’s latest go at appealing to new types of consumers, particularly Millennials, as part of its e-Commerce revamp. The target customers for Jetblack are wealthy city dwellers, and the service is designed to offer free delivery of household products within 24 hours. Other purchases are delivered within two business days, and returns can be picked up for free from customers’ homes.
The “Jetblack” name allegedly comes from Marc Lore, CEO and Founder of Jet.com and Head of Walmart U.S. e-Commerce, according to Recode. Lore apparently had the idea for a high-end personal shopping service for Jet.com before it was acquired by Walmart in 2016.
Jetblack is one of several projects being run under Store No. 8. Others include Project Kepler, a startup working to build cashierless stores similar to Amazon Go as well as a virtual reality initiative.