Walmart’s $3 billion purchase of Jet.com has been widely praised as a win for both companies.
The acquisition is expected to help Walmart refine its e-commerce businesses, while helping Jet expand its reach and strengthen its negotiating power with suppliers.
But the implications for Walmart go even further, according to UBS analyst Michael Lasser.
The deal could help Walmart shed any perceptions that it’s a retail dinosaur still deeply rooted in the era when brick-and-mortar stores thrived.
In turn, Walmart could start attracting top tech talent away from Amazon, eBay, and other top online retailers.
“Until now, Walmart probably faced some difficulty attracting the best & brightest engineers & [e-commerce] talent given its perception as a ‘traditional retailer,'” Lasser wrote in a note to clients on Monday. “We think the addition of a rapidly growing and innovative etailer should enable Walmart to attract human capital and knowledge that it might not have otherwise been able to attain.”
Lasser said it will be important for Walmart to hold on to Jet’s talent — especially Jet founder Marc Lore — in addition to attracting new talent.
“We think it will be critical for Walmart to let Jet stand alone, enabling this rapidly growing business to not get distracted by the bureaucratic culture of a large enterprise,” Lasser wrote. “Plus, we think it will be important for Walmart to hold onto the talent. In particular, Mr. Lore … [who] has proven himself to be a serial entrepreneur, which might eventually lead him to look beyond his role at Jet.”
The acquisition could also help Walmart attract younger shoppers that dwell in cities.
Jet’s shoppers tend to be young, urban millennials, according to Walmart.
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