The incubator, dubbed Store No. 8, is an internal venture meant to foster online retail businesses for the 54-year-old company. With its market value of $213bn, Walmart seeks to “invest in ideas that have the ability to transform the future of e-commerce,” Ravi Jariwala, senior director of public relations for Walmart, told Mobility Buzz. And this includes last-mile delivery, for which the company is perfectly positioned to dominate, he added.
“[Startups] are not just going off and innovating but they are developing with a viewpoint,” Jariwala said. “How does this help with Walmart’s customer experience?”
Walmart has “some unique advantages” when it comes to last-mile deliveries, he said, because of its number of stores and proximity to customers. Walmart has more than 5,000 stores, as well as five mega e-commerce fulfillment centers, with a sixth in Florida opening later this year.
Store No.8’s mandate is to look at startups that are not ready for primetime, but “maybe three to seven years later they will be,” Jariwala said.
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