Mark Lore is a storied exec. Amazon acquihired him when the purchased Quidsi in 2011. He co-founded Quidsi, and it was the parent company of Diapers.com. Amazon scooped it up for the paltry sum of $545M.
Lore later left Amazon to start Jet.com. When Jet was a little over a year old, Walmart purchased for the hefty total of $3B, only to later shutter the site and send customers to Walmart’s eCommerce portal.
So much for Walmart’s big and expensive effort to take on Amazon with a digitally-native brand. Amid the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the retail industry, today the retail giant quietly announced in its quarterly report that it would be discontinuing Jet.com, the online-only marketplace that it acquired when it was just over one year old for $3 billion (plus $300 million in earn-outs over time), as it struggles to bring its e-commerce operations into that black after reportedly seeing a loss of $2 billion in the division in 2019 and shifting how to deliver its e-commerce strategy: by betting on giant stores, rather than online warehouses, as the hubs of its online delivery model.
Jet.com’s fate was disclosed as part of a Walmart’s Q1 earnings report, in which the company said it saw growth of less than 10% in its core US market, and said that it would be withdrawing guidance for fiscal 2021.Tech Crunch
Lore has now completed his five year obligation to Walmart, and will depart to start a experimental city.
Lore declined to offer more details, but said he would be prepared to reveal additional information in the coming months. Some who have heard of the project say one focus will be on giving everyday citizens direct economic upside in the city’s growth.
“Imagine a city with the vibrancy, diversity and culture of New York City combined with the efficiency, safety and innovation of Tokyo and the sustainability, governance, and social services of Sweden,” reads the vision statement for the project. “This will be our New City.”
“Imagine a city with the vibrancy, diversity and culture of New York City combined with the efficiency, safety and innovation of Tokyo and the sustainability, governance, and social services of Sweden,” reads the vision statement for the project. “This will be our New City.”Recode
In another part of the article, Lore refers to the utopian project as having a “reformed version of capitalism”
There is no reforming capitalism. There is only perverting it. The issue is not capitalism itself, the issue is the notion that there is something immoral with laissez faire markets and the right of free people to interact without intervention, be it from a state or a unconcerned third party.
This may succeed, or more practically, this may be Lore’s way of leaving with dignity, either way, it sounds lame.