When thinking of an online retailer that offers millions of products and speedy delivery, the first company that probably springs to mind is Amazon. But another global retailer is aiming to change that. Walmart announced a concierge personal shopping service, but here is the catch — you have to be invited in order to experience the service.
The service, called Jetblack, is designed to help busy urban families and city dwellers spruce up their wardrobes, organize their lives, and save time — by not having to go store to store and shop for themselves. For the price of $50 every month, customers can text requests to the Jetblack service whenever they need a new addition to their closet, gift ideas, or even items for an upcoming party. Usually within five to 10 minutes, the customer will receive a response with lists of suggestions, and the customer can then choose the ones he or she wants. Customers will receive same-day delivery of the selected products from not only Walmart, but also Jet, Saks, Sephora, and other retailers.
Jetblack, the first company to be unveiled to the world from Walmart’s Store No. 8 technology incubator, is currently in its pilot program, which has been taking place over the past eight months at various doorman buildings in Manhattan. The pilot program will soon extend into some neighborhoods of Brooklyn, as well as non-doorman buildings, over the coming weeks.
Jetblack is helmed by Jenny Fleiss, the co-founder of Rent the Runway. Fleiss joined Walmart in 2017 to help the company develop personal shopping services that would put the retailer on a more equal footing with Amazon. Walmart has since launched a newly redesigned website, designated hundreds of options for grocery pickup locations, and even offered upscale clothing brands such as Modcloth.
“I don’t know if it will work, but I know it’s a good idea,” Scott Galloway, a marketing professor at New York University, told Bloomberg. “No traditional retailer has done a better job than Walmart of grabbing the mic back from Amazon.”
According to Fleiss, Jetblack users are purchasing more than 10 items every week, and on the wait list, there are thousands of customers eagerly waiting their turn to experience the service.