The first serious attempt to compete as an independent e-commerce pure play head-to-head with Amazon could be coming to an end, according to published reports. Jet.com, an online retailer that raised more than $500 million in its year-long existence, is negotiating its sale to Walmart, according to sources quoted by the Wall Street Journal . Jet.com went to market with a membership model and promised to undercut Amazon’s prices by employing technology in its shopping cart that would alter prices depending on how many and what type of items a shopper bought.
In an e-commerce market thoroughly dominated by Amazon, Walmart has been making moves since the beginning of this year that would bolster e-commerce while emphasizing its natural advantage as the retailer with the largest physical presence (nearly 11,500 stores worldwide) and as one of the largest grocers. In January the company reorganized , merging its e-commerce and IT units and it also expanded online order/curbside pickup of groceries . Acquiring Jet and its network of warehouses could immediately benefit Walmart’s e-commerce and omnichannel capacity.