Walmart Builds a Secret Weapon to Battle Amazon for Retail’s Future

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Last May we talked about Walmart's launch of Jetlack, a personal shopping service trying to attract wealthier clients to the world's largest retailer. This week more information about the service was released. The service costs $600 a year and currently has a few hundred shoppers in the New York market but is looking to scale nationally. Customers text shoppers who will buy anything other than fresh food (and not just from Walmart stores). Shoppers buy on average 10 items a week with an average of $300 a week for products "because the ease of the service encourages more frequent purchases." The bold bet here is the labor-intensive and money-losing personal-shopping service will allow Walmart to develop artificial intelligence to compete with Amazon and support customer needs across both online and offline commerce.

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