Walmart ($NYSE:WMT) had its earnings call Tuesday, May 19th, and revealed Jet.com, the e-commerce site from Hoboken, New Jersey Walmart bought four years ago for $3 billion, is being discontinued. Jet employees were already being shifted to Walmart.com last year but the transition will be happening for everyone involved this summer.
In a statement, Walmart said “Due to continued strength of the Walmart.com brand, the company will discontinue Jet.com. The acquisition of Jet.com nearly four years ago was critical to accelerating our omni strategy.” Whether or not Walmart got what it paid for by buying Jet.com is up for debate. But its battle with rival Amazon ($NASDAQ:AMZN) over who gets the most Americans to buy groceries and paper towels still rages on both battlefields, in-store and online, and Jet helped Walmart in its battle with Bezos.
Here is the final snapshot of Jet's alternative data on the week of its untimely demise.
So far this year, Walmart is seeing a 7% increase in employee count, according to LinkedIn data. Since May 2019, Jet has seen a 17% decrease in staff count, likely due to some employees being shed and some officially going over to other departments and divisions within Walmart and walmart.com. Fun fact: the stock is higher now during a global pandemic than it was this time last year!
Across the board, social media followers for Jet have declined while Walmart's have gone up, which is a telling sign of popularity and ubiquity for online shoppers. On Twitter, Walmart saw a 10% increase in followers over the last two years, and Jet lost around a thousand, so it looks as if Walmart's social strategy was edging Jet aside for some time now.
The brands had the same thing happen on Instagram; Walmart grew followers by 23% and Jet lost 300 followers. Walmart is in the millions, Jet was hovering around 34K. It makes sense to just roll Jet into Walmart, and we can see why in this data.
Curiously, back in March Jet had around half of its Apple reviews vanish, which boosted its app store rating. But as the weeks went on, more reviews came in and lowered the score, which is still quite high, mind you, but it's not enough to save the mobile versions of Jet at the end of the day. RIP Jet.com, we hardly knew you. Or used you, either, to be quite honest. Not to add insult to injury, but that's the truth. And that may have been the plan for Walmart, all along.
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.