The US retail chain operator’s seven-year-old Store No 8 is ceasing operations and its head, Scott Eckert, is exiting the firm.
The Store No 8 team. Photo courtesy of Store No 8.
US big-box retailer Walmart intends to shut down its startup incubator, Store No 8, with Scott Eckert, a senior vice president who had led the business unit since 2019, understood to be leaving the company.
Formed in 2017, when Walmart was working to catch up with the online activities of Amazon, Store No 8 targeted companies developing drone delivery, customised shopping, autonomous vehicles, virtual and augmented reality, and artificial intelligence technologies.
The unit was launched in the wake of Walmart’s $3.3bn acquisition of Jet.com, a US e-commerce company then backed by conglomerates Alibaba and Alphabet.
Jet.com’s founder and former chief executive Marc Lore was appointed Walmart’s US e-commerce president and CEO after the acquisition. Many of his team members went on to join Store No 8.
Denise Malloy, another senior vice president who joined Walmart in April last year to oversee diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, is also reportedly leaving the firm.
“We’ve graduated capabilities from this operating approach that are now fully embedded in our organisation,” John David Rainey, Walmart’s chief financial officer, was quoted as saying in a staff memo seen by the WSJ.