Jet To Launch Private-Label Brands As Competition Heats Up

Plans are underway for Walmart-owned Jet.com online retailer to begin selling apparel from acquisitions that the offline retail giant has made in the last 12 months. According to sources clothes from Bonobos and ModCloth will be made available on Jet starting in 2018. Reports also indicate that before the end of the year private-label grocery items will be introduced on the website.

The efforts are part of a strategy by the head of e-commerce at Walmart, Mar Lore, to provide shoppers with specialty goods which are not available at any other outlet. Lore is also using the strategy as a differentiating factor to enable Jet stand out from Walmart. Additionally the strategy will help Jet, which was started two years ago, to take on a new image.

Upscale options

In the course of the coming two months Jet is expected to begin selling about 60 household and food products. Later pet, beauty and baby products will be added in order to offer shoppers more upscale options than would be available from Walmart stores. Packaging that is shipping-friendly will be offered with the items to further differentiate the products purchased on Jet.

According to a Jet spokesperson, the private-label products will be known as Uniquely J and will be aimed at millennial customers. Jet is also coming up with a bed-in-a-box brand to compete with online startups that are selling compressed mattresses.

Earlier last week Jet’s parent company Walmart announced that it was expanding Parent’s Choice, a baby brand, to now include sippy cups made of stainless steel, baby food and beddings. Online retail giant Amazon is also boosting its private-label offerings following its acquisition of Whole Foods Market.

Higher margins

According to Jeff Gamsey, the private brands vice president for e-commerce firm Boxed.com, private-label products have no marketing expenses and this means they enjoy higher margins and this can assist in offsetting shipping costs. These private-label brands can also be a boon to the bottom-line when they become successful. About a fifth of Costco’s annual sales in the United States worth $15 billion are derived from its Kirkland private-label brand.

But even as Jet sets its sights on expanding private-label offerings, the e-commerce firm has downsized expensive experiments such as the delivery of fresh food. While the service will still be offered in big cities such as New York City, it has been dropped in areas such as Fort Bragg in North Carolina.

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