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Walmart started Store No. 8 in 2017 as a place to test new technologies and compete with rivals including Amazon.

Walmart will close Store No. 8, which served as Walmart’s internal startup incubator since it launched in 2017.

The big box retailer confirmed the closure in an emailed statement.

“Store No. 8 was an important early step forward into tech-powered customer solutions, which led to innovations that have transformed how customers shop at Walmart,” a spokesperson said. “When we stood up Store No. 8, it was the right decision at that time. Since that time, we’ve stood up Global Technology, Product and Design organizations that work alongside the business to innovate with speed — and the responsibility to shape the future of retail is now shared across the company.”

Walmart is No. 2 in the Top 1000, Digital Commerce 360’s database ranking of North America’s online retailers by web sales. The retailer is also No. 9 in the Global Online Marketplaces Database, Digital Commerce 360’s ranking of the top 100 online marketplaces by gross merchandise value.

What is Walmart Store No. 8?

Walmart launched Store No. 8 in 2017 as a way to catch up to rival Amazon’s fast-growing online business. The name is a reference to the early Walmart location where co-founder Sam Walton tried out new concepts. It also has a history with Marc Lore, who took over Walmart’s ecommerce operations in 2016 when the retailer bought Jet.com for $3.3 billion. Many of Lore’s hires went on to work on Store No. 8 projects.


The Store No. 8 website describes its mandate to “incubate startups to help leapfrog where the customer and market will go, well into the future. These self-contained companies benefit from the best of both worlds — they operate at the speed of a startup along with access to tremendous enterprise scale — with a goal to enrich the lives of Walmart customers and associates.”

The incubator focused on:

  • Health and wellness
  • Sustainability and circular economy
  • Social commerce and the creator economy
  • Mixed reality and metaverse
  • Food and next-gen agriculture
  • Customer experience and loyalty
  • Web3 and decentralized commerce

Store No. 8 was releasing new projects as recently as this month. The retailer announced a metaverse shopping integration with Unity in early January, through the metaverse commerce sector of Store No. 8.

What’s next for Walmart?

The responsibilities previously held by Store No. 8 will be spread across the company, Walmart said in its statement. Some of Store No. 8’s projects have graduated and been executed by Walmart. InHome delivery and text to shop both grew out of Store No. 8 projects.

Scott Eckert, senior vice president who led Store No. 8, will leave the company, the Wall Street Journal reported. He indicated that about 300 workers from the project moved to other roles within the company over Store No. 8’s history. 


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