Walmart has jettisoned Jet.
Well, sort of. The big-box retail giant released its quarterly earnings this week. It was good news for Walmart and bad news for Jet.com. In the earnings release, Walmart confirmed the e-commerce site it acquired in 2016 would be shut down because, well, Walmart can live without it.
It should come as little surprise that Walmart did well during the first couple months of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., with an 8.6 percent increase in total revenue and an eye-popping 74 percent increase in revenue from its self-branded e-commerce platform. People wanted to use Walmart.com to order products instead of a Walmart-owned site they had possibly never heard of, weirdly enough.
Walmart spent $3 billion on Jet in 2016. It never really took off as the Amazon competitor Walmart surely wanted it to be, despite a re-brand in late 2018. Jet started showing personalized homepages and item recommendations for users in big cities, most notably with a New York City-themed template. Walmart doesn’t really exist in the Big Apple, so Jet could have been a way to hop into that market under a different name.
Still, Walmart doesn’t seem to consider Jet to be a colossal failure or anything. In the earnings release, Walmart commended Jet for being “critical to accelerating our omni strategy.” It sounds like Jet simply became redundant after Walmart launched an express shipping option for Walmart.com deliveries.