Walmart tests white glove shopping service in NYC

Co-founder Jenny Fleiss said Jetblack is an invite only and there is a waiting listing in Manhattan, with plans to roll it out to Brooklyn in the near future. (Courtesy Talk Business & Politics)

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (TALK BUSINESS & POLITICS) - Within Walmart’s Store No. 8 incubator in Bentonville, the retailer is testing a white-glove shopping service in New York City dubbed Jetblack and co-founded by Jenny Fleiss who joined Walmart last year.

Fleiss announced to the media Thursday (May 31) Jetblack has been under beta testing with a select group of shoppers in Manhattan since the fall of 2017.

The cost of this white-glove shopping assistant is a monthly subscription price of $50. Fleiss did not say how many users are testing the service. She said it’s invite only and there is a waiting listing in Manhattan, with plans to roll it out to Brooklyn in the near future. For now the service is available to buildings with doormen. The goal is same-day delivery for requests made by 2 p.m.

Fleiss said urban shoppers are willing to pay for white glove shopping assistants who save them time. Jetblack uses text communications with human interaction on the other end. The company plans to use machine learning and artificial intelligence. The goal is to provide consumers with one step problem solutions on everything from what is the best birthday day gift for a two-year-old boy to how and get facial make-up reordered from Sephora.

She said by testing the service the consumer gets the recommendation and in the case of the birthday gift it will also be wrapped. Jetblack is willing to source products from other retailers outside Walmart and Jet and will look for the products with the fastest delivery, best price and still solve the need for the user. She did not say how many retailers the service is working with but the list is always expanding and some of the partners include Saks Fifth Avenue and Pottery Barn.

“We are thrilled to introduce Jetblack to the world today,” says Fleiss. “Consumers are looking for more efficient ways to shop for themselves and their families without having to compromise on product quality. With Jetblack, we have created an entirely new concept that enables consumers to get exactly what they need through the convenience of text messaging and the freedom of a nearly unlimited product catalogue. We are confident this service will make shopping frictionless, more personalized and delightful.”

“When I need diapers I just text Jetblack and they know the brand I use and send my way. When I needed to buy a scooter helmet the service gave me three recommendations and I chose one in a matter of seconds. It too was delivered to me same-day at no-added cost,” Kimberly Skelton, one of the consumers involved in the beta testing told the media at the press conference in Bentonville.

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