90% of Americans live within 15 minutes from one of Walmart’s 5000+ US locations. But there aren’t any in New York City.
Enter Jetblack.com. Walmart wanted to reach New York City moms, but logistically these customers didn’t have access to the brand. So, Walmart built a convenient personal shopping service, where people can order via text message, have the items delivered, and have unused items picked up for free. Users pay a membership fee instead of delivery charges. The service will remember preferences and even help pick out items.
Walmart’s brand isn’t available to this target mentally either. Affluent New York City moms are far from Walmart’s usual demographic, and they aren’t typically interested in the brand. So, Walmart distinguished Jetblack from itself in design and name. It placed co-founder of Rent the Runway and affluent NYC mom Jenny Fleiss as CEO, trying to prove its commitment to and understanding of this new target market.
No one knows if this plan will succeed, but Walmart understands that if they want to continue to grow, they must make themselves more available to more potential customers. By providing such a radically different service, Walmart is making itself available, entering both new physical spaces with the service and new mental spaces with the branding.
In a crowded market, growth depends on finding and often stealing new customers. New customers cannot begin their relationship with a brand until it is accessible to them. Walmart knows it has to keep putting itself within reach of people, both physically and mentally, because 90% access just isn’t good enough.