In 2018, Walmart, the world's biggest retailer, launched Jetblack, a concierge luxury shopping service that allowed consumers to explore and buy items via text message. It is a classic example of the danger of introducing a relatively luxurious brand into the portfolio of a non-luxury brand family. Jetblack's service combined artificial intelligence (AI) and the customized attention of trained experts to identify the most appropriate products for its customers. Following the launch of Jetblack, customer enrollments grew and both the frequency and breadth of member shopping increased. Its initial customers also stated that texting was their favorite aspect of the service. However, Jetblack's inability to scale its business operations proved to be a major challenge, with dire financial implications. By 2019, Jetblack was losing around USD 15,000 per customer annually. On February 21, 2020, Walmart announced that it was shutting down its exclusive concierge shopping startup, Jetblack, due to limited end user customer enrollments and inadequate investments.
|Specialist publication||Harvard Business Review|
|Publication status||Published - 10 Jan 2021|