Walmart Officially Acquiring Jet.com For $3 Billion

Image courtesy of Mike Mozart

It looks like last week’s rumor mill was right on the money: this morning, Walmart has officially announced its plan to buy Jet.com.

In a press release, Walmart sang the praises of the year-old online retailer while explaining the transaction.

In his statement, Walmart president and CEO Doug McMillon said:

“We’re looking for ways to lower prices, broaden our assortment and offer the simplest, easiest shopping experience because that’s what our customers want. We believe the acquisition of Jet accelerates our progress across these priorities. Walmart.com will grow faster, the seamless shopping experience we’re pursuing will happen quicker, and we’ll enable the Jet brand to be even more successful in a shorter period of time. Our customers will win. It’s another jolt of entrepreneurial spirit being injected into Walmart.”

If you chose to read that as, “Walmart’s web presence is really nowhere near where we want it to be, so acquiring this internet-focused retailer with a slick site will help us,” well, nobody would blame you.

The two will remain as distinct brands, Walmart says — that means that going to Jet.com will, in fact, take you to Jet.com and not redirect to Walmart.

As we wrote last week, acquiring Jet.com gives Walmart an immediate return on the cash it was pledged to spend on improving e-commerce: the site is up and running and already at work.

Also, your average Jet.com customer is in a different — higher — income bracket than your average Walmart customer. With the acquisition, Walmart gives itself direct access to people who have more money to spend. And of course it gives them a fighting chance against the 8,000-pound gorilla in the e-commerce room, Amazon.