Advertise with

Walmart launches tech incubator dubbed Store No. 8
Walmart launches tech incubator dubbed Store No. 8

Walmart launches tech incubator dubbed Store No. 8


By Laura Heller - Mar 22nd 2017, 15:05

Retailers have been advised to act like a startup and now the largest retailer in the world is going above and beyond. Walmart has created an incubator to internally nurture startup businesses called Store No. 8. 

The initiative was announced at the Shoptalk conference today in Las Vegas by founder and CEO of Walmart's U.S. e-commerce business. Lore was a keynote speaker at Shoptalk's inaugural event last year and just a few months later his company,, was purchased by Walmart for more than $3 billion.

Lore and his team have been moving fast to grow digital commerce and have bought four digital startups under the Jet division, most recently ModCloth for an undisclosed sum estimated at between $50 million to $75 million.

These moves have added online commerce companies to Walmart's stable, each with a unique set of customers, attributes and strengths. The goal, Lore told Shoptalk attendees, is allow these businesses to grow and flourish under the umbrella of the world's largest retailer.

And now that retailer has an official incubator. Store No. 8 is named after an Arkansas location where Walmart founder Sam Walton was known to experiment. These businesses will run just like any other startups but "will be ring-fenced by the rest of the organisation and backed by the largest retailer in the world," Lore said.

Store No. 8 will be headed by Seth Beal, previously senior vice president for the global marketplace and digital store operations at Walmart and Jet's Katie Finnegan.

Walmart already has a research arm, @walmartlabs in San Francisco. The difference here is that Walmart will invest in these businesses like a VC and grow the group as a portfolio.

"We'll be bringing in entrepreneurs and giving them capital," said Lore. "And give them the opportunity to change the course of retail five or 10 years out."© 2017 Forbes Media LLC. All Rights Reserved 

Related News

Brands leave R34 bn in lost sales on the e-commerce table - report
22/09/2019 - 13:19
By 2021, over 20-million South Africans will shop online.

Retail sales remain muted with consumers under pressure
20/09/2019 - 14:31
Retail sales for July marginally declined to 2 percent year on year as sales growth continued to reflect a muted demand in South Africa, with consumers’ discretionary income under strain.

Pick n Pay rolls out R4 lifetime reusable bag made from recycled plastic bottles
20/09/2019 - 14:14
Pick n Pay is rolling out its new budget green People n Planet reusable bag nationally after a successful trial with customers earlier this year. The bag is expected to be in all stores by mid-October.

Shoprite targets rivers on World Cleanup Day
19/09/2019 - 14:59
The Shoprite Group has partnered with the South African Department of Water and Sanitation to host river cleanups on World Cleanup Day (21 September 2019) and everyone’s invited to join in.

Zara launches online store in South Africa
19/09/2019 - 11:58
Zara has launched its online sales in SA through its dedicated website This marks an important milestone in the expansion of Zara’s integrated store and online platform into markets where it already has a store presence.