US retailer Walmart paid $3.3 billion in cash and stock for the start-up retailer Jet.com and placed Jet’s founder, Marc Lore, in charge of Walmart’s domestic e-commerce division. It was a sign of just how badly Walmart needs to bolster its online operation and defend itself from Amazon, Brad Stone and Matthew Boyle write in a deep profile for Bloomberg Businessweek. Now, Lore is introducing strategies that encourage customers to make bulk purchases and pick them up at stores, minimising Walmart’s shipping costs. Walmart also is buying a string of other online retailers, likely including Bonobos, a menswear site that fits customers in stores before delivering to homes. The ultimate question: Can Walmart use its massive infrastructure as a launch pad to remake the online market?
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