Walmart (NYSE: WMT) recently has been testing a new personal shopping service for “busy NYC moms” through a new subsidiary called Code Eight. This service allows shoppers to receive product recommendations and make purchases through text messaging. Aimed at high-income making consumers in the city, household items bought can be delivered for free within 24 hours while other purchases can arrive within 2 business days. Returns are picked up for free at a shopper’s home. Items in this service are mostly focused in the healthy & beauty, apparel & accessories, and household essentials categories.
Another Walmart startup called Store No. 8 is working on a project that aims to enhance the in-store shopping experience with new technologies such as computer vision. Project Kepler focuses on physical stores that would operate without checkout lines or cashiers. These two initiatives are aimed to take the lead in commerce by bringing in machine learning to deliver the best in class consumer experience in the physical retail space that competes with Amazon’s Go service.