Walmart Inc.’s Jet.com unit will soon be making same-day grocery deliveries in New York City, upping the fight for customers in a highly competitive market.
Jet will open a fulfillment center in the Bronx this fall to bring same-day and next-day delivery to the city, the company said in an emailed statement. The center will stock Jet inventory, which includes groceries and everyday essentials, as well as other select merchandise.
Catching up with Target and Amazon
Rival Target Corp., No. 17 in the Internet Retailer 2018 Top 1000, already offers same-day delivery for in-store purchases to parts of New York City for a fee, and Amazon.com Inc. (No. 1) has same-day food delivery in the city through PrimeNow.
Jet’s fulfillment center will be located at 1055 Bronx River Drive. The company said the facility will create hundreds of new jobs in the area. Jet’s headquarters are in Hoboken, New Jersey, across the Hudson River from Manhattan.
The grocery delivery plan plays to Jet’s self-proclaimed urban demographic strength. Before Walmart (No. 3) acquired Jet.com the upstart retailer was burning through cash to acquire customers by offering a vast product catalog in order to compete with Amazon and Walmart. Post-acquisition with a lower marketing budget, Jet is taking a new route by refocusing its business on a specific customer target: urban, affluent consumers.
Build a business
“We determined that Walmart had a strong presence from its store footprint and a brand that resonates in suburban and rural areas, while Jet had a stronger brand in urban areas,” said Simon Belsham, Jet’s president, at Walmart’s May 31 shareholder meeting in Bentonville, Arkansas. “That led us to seek to rethink how we could do a complementary business, how we could build a business that we think can transform and reinvent e-commerce.”
As a result, Jet is now focused squarely on offering a tailored assortment of products in categories such as food, home, furniture and apparel that aim to appeal to its target consumers. “No one has successfully combined food and general merchandise sales online [that appeals to our audience],” said Belsham. ”We think that’s the combination we can use to build a relationship with our customers that fosters brand love.”
Walmart is retrenching its global operations—investing in e-commerce and nations such as India and China while scaling back in places like Brazil and the U.K. It is also focusing on services like curbside grocery pickup and deliveries. Last year, the retailer acquired Parcel, which specializes in same-day deliveries of groceries and meal kits in New York.
Zak Stambor contributed to this report.