Jet’s Private Label Line Launches as Walmart Seeks to Beat Amazon

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Jet.com private label
50 Uniquely J slider gallon freezer bags sell for $5.99 with 2-day delivery

Hoboken, NJ — Walmart’s Jet.com brand has launched its private label consumer goods line with many of the products organic and sustainable. Called Uniquely J, it carries the tagline “your new favorite everything” and aims to appeal to the upscale millennial living in urban areas.

The 50-odd SKUs in the launch assortment include cleaning products with plant-based ingredients, food storage bags that are BPA-free, and Fair Trade Certified coffee beans, according to a statement accompanying the launch.

Jet.com private label
Uniquely J Organic Mild Salsa

Unlike the recent launch Brandless, where everything sells for $3, Uniquely J partnered with artists from around the world to design bold and unique packaging for its private label. In the video accompanying the launch, the announcer describes the products as “organic, fair trade and really, really cool looking.” Coffees carry names like “Badass Espresso.”

Categories covered by the Uniquely J private label are coffee, cleaning, laundry, pantry, paper and food storage. Products include Organic Sriracha Sauce, and the video gives a nod to this being an ingredient hot with a younger demographic, the under 35-year-old households making more than $100,000 per year who Nielsen research says have increased their private label shopping 7.1% from 2012 to 2015.

The private label field is an increasingly crowded one. Amazon has its Basics and the 365 line it acquired with the purchase of Whole Foods Market. According to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon sold $1.6 million of the Whole Foods private label brand in the first month it put an assortment online.

In Tucson, AZ last week, Zac Bensinger, director of health and wellness for Walmart US eCommerce (encompassing Jet.com and Walmart.com), made a direct appeal to the 250 or so supplement industry leaders at the Council for Responsible Nutrition’s Ascend conference.

“Walmart and Jet are both here to partner with you,” he said. “It’s our ambition to have close relationships.” He unveiled updated merchandising pages displaying the Nike brand and implied that unlike Amazon.com, Walmart wants to collaborate.

“Where are we now?” Bensinger said. Walmart has “4700 stores [and] 90% of the U.S. population lives within 10 miles of one. [Some] 95% of Americans have purchased something from Walmart in the past year. That’s twice as much as our friends in Seattle. We can win in this space. There’s room to grow. That $700 billion [in forecast ecommerce sales by 2020] is not going to go all to Amazon. We’re going to win in the long run.”

Part of the Walmart omnichannel strategy is to deploy its associates to deliver packages while on the way home from work. Jet.com offers two-day delivery on its private label line with free shipping for purchases of more than $35.

The two-brand strategy, preserving Jet, is an aim to focus on serving the affluent metro customer with “inspiringly bold experiences that showcase their desired assortment and integrates into their lives,” Bensinger said.

“To nail wellness, you have to have the products,” he told his partner prospects, because “63% of all consumable shoppers are merely refilling or replacing products.”

Among the features Bensinger said will be “happening in the next five minutes” is meal curation. “You have a desired set of calories per day you want to go after. You break it down into carbs, etc. You add it to your [online] cart and every ingredient you need is ready and you go pick it up at Walmart.”

Integrating premium services of a dietitian and personal trainer represents a huge opportunity for retail, he added.

Published on WholeFoods Magazine Online, 10/24/17

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