Feb 15, 2020 - Economy

Walmart fumbles in the battle for wealthy shoppers

Shopping bag

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Walmart’s expensive attempt to woo wealthy shoppers is ending in failure.

Driving the news: Jetblack, Walmart’s personal shopping startup, is closing its doors, per WSJ. The service, which charged members $600 a year for a personal shopper whom they could text to get anything delivered — except fresh food — was costing the company thousands of dollars because it just never gained much popularity.

Jetblack was only available in New York City. Still, "in a city of 8+ million people, fewer than 1,000 were signed up for Jetblack as of last year," according to Retail Brew.

The big picture: Walmart and Amazon have long dominated two different cohorts of shoppers. While Walmart reigns over redder, more rural and lower-income America, Amazon commands the larger, liberal metros.

  • But recently, as each behemoth seeks to own the future of retail, they've been stepping on each other's toes.
  • Walmart's Jetblack was its signature attempt to crack the market of the very wealthiest American shoppers, many of whom are already Prime members. But Amazon's ubiquitousness in big cities and among wealthier consumers is difficult to crack.
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