Wal-Mart to launch investment arm in e-commerce push


By Nandita BoseMarch 20 (Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc <WMT.N>, the
world's largest retailer, will launch its first investment arm
to expand its e-commerce business in partnership with retail
start-ups, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, the company
said on Monday.
    The plan is being spearheaded by Marc Lore, Wal-Mart's
e-commerce chief, who joined the Bentonville, Arkansas-based
company from retail upstart Jet.com, which it acquired for more
than $3 billion in August. [nL4N1AP42N][nL2N1BV1MP]
    Since then, Wal-Mart has acquired three small web retailers
to add urban and millennial shoppers.
    The venture, called Store No. 8, will work with startups
that specialize in areas that include robotics, virtual and
augmented reality, machine learning and artificial intelligence,
Lore said at Shoptalk, a retail conference in New York. It will
be based in California'sSilicon Valley, he added.
    Wal-Mart will keep the startups separate from the broader
organization so that they will not affect the retailer's bottom
line in the near term, Seth Beal, senior vice-president,
incubation and strategic partnerships, said in an interview.
    He declined to give a timeframe for the launch.

 (Reporting by Nandita Bose in Chicago; Editing by Richard
 ((nandita.bose@thomsonreuters.com ; +13124088726; Reuters
Messaging: nandita.bose.reuters.com@reuters.net))


This article appears in: Economy , World Markets , Stocks
Referenced Symbols: WMT

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