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WalMart is growing Jet.com - even if Jet isn't growing WalMart

4 weeks ago by Jon Marino in Earnings

Jet.com may be growing - but it's not clear what it's growing for parent company WalMart ($NYSE:WMT). 

Jet job postings have grown more than 25% since 2019 began, which would typically be considered an excellent sign for a digital brand inside a growing global retailer. But, it's apparent there is some turbulence on Jet's flight. 

After it was acquired by WalMart in 2016, Jet had about 143 jobs posted, and that has since risen to 391. There isn't an apparent seasonal trend, either. A recent Business Insider report stated Jet would be folded into WalMart operations - so it isn't clear how long Jet will maintain separate job postings from its parent company. 

Another Business Insider report chronicled "eight vice presidents and five senior directors" via a LinkedIn review who had departed the company. One staffer, speaking anonymously to the website, called the departures part of an "exodus." However, a WalMart rep told Business Insider it has shifted its focus more toward major metropolitan areas like New York City. 

While Jet may be increasing its headcount, it's WalMart that is apparently getting the most attention within the app economy. This year WalMart's app rating count grew by more than 6,000 reviews, to about 856,000, in the Apple ($NASDAQ:AAPL) Store, which only saw Jet add a little over 1,000 - and Jet app reviews still haven't crossed the 20,000 mark. What's more: WalMart's app engagement trajectory continues upward, while Jet's has leveled off lately. 

The data, and the reporting, taken together suggests that WalMart may "Amazon" its acquisition (that is, acquiring it, extracting talent, tech, and best practices, and then rebranding the startup's brand into the parent company) at the end of this process. The big-box retailer will announce earnings for the third quarter on Thursday, November 14; analysts tracked by Zacks Investment Research are expecting EPS $1.09. 

About the Data: 

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

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Jon Marino

Jon Marino is Thinknum's finance editor, covering the impacts of alternative data on public companies and investors. Prior to joining Thinknum, Jon worked in the ...

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