Walmart launches Jetblack, a concierge shopping service via text message

What used to be a stealthy personal shopping service for moms in New York City initiated last December by Store No. 8, Walmart’s technology incubator, is now out in a limited release. Called Jetblack, the members-only concierge shopping service lets you find and buy items through text message. Jetblack will then ship the order the same or next day at no extra cost.

Jetblack was co-founded by Jenny Fleiss, formerly co-founder of Rent the Runway, in March 2017. The service is now available to customers in Manhattan and part of Brooklyn, marking the first product of Store No 8, where it was previously known as “Code Eight" during the testing phase. While it's currently limited in scope, Jetblack is expected to expand soon and you can join its waitlist.

The service combines artificial intelligence with input from parents and professional buyers across a wide variety of categories. It works to send curated shopping recommendations via text message and "deliver time-strapped urban parents everything from birthday gifts to household essentials" sourced from Walmart, Jet.com, and other local shops. You can also request an item you've seen somewhere else by taking its photo and sending it to Jetblack. Keep in mind, though, that the service doesn't currently ship perishable items, alcohol, and medicinal products.

Also, Jetblack doesn't require a minimum spend for you to be able to use the service. Plus, the company's courier service will pick up a purchased item from your house if you want to return it.

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