Walmart could be eyeing a number of startups for acquisition as part of its continuing push into e-commerce, says a January analysis by RetailDIVE.
The analysis looks to a report by startup research firm CB Insights, which suggested 11 possible candidates, basing its pick on Walmart’s recent acquisitions and future plans.
The candidates: athleisure e-commerce company Outdoor Voices, high-quality basics company Everlane, hair care startup Madison Reed, sneaker company Allbirds, bulk online retailer Boxed, membership-based organic online grocer Thrive Market, e-commerce personalization vendor Richrelevance, last-mile delivery startups Deliv or Axlehire, robotics startup Canvas Technology or pharmacy logistics and delivery startup PillPack.
Walmart’s buying spree over the last couple of years has been mainly targeted at building up its e-commerce retail presence. Walmart bought e-commerce startup Jet in 2016, following up in 2017 with a series of pure-play e-commerce retailers including ShoeBuy, Modcloth, Moosejaw and Bonobos, along with last-mile delivery company Parcel.
CB Insights says Walmart aims to boost its private label offerings, at least at its Jet unit, notes RetailDIVE. It also wants to bring more SKUs online, attract more high-income customers, increase store efficiency and make deliveries faster and more efficient, according to the report.
The 2016 purchase of Jet launched Walmart’s foray into e-commerce, CB Insights says. Since moving to Walmart, Jet’s founder Marc Lore played a key role in the company’s 2017 acquisitions and has promised more to come.
Says RetailDIVE, “Lore has brought a fresh mindset to Walmart, making swift change possible despite the retailer's position as a stolid stalwart of traditional retail, according to Greg Portell, lead partner in the retail practice of global strategy and management consulting firm A.T. Kearney.”