Walmart has purchased virtual reality leader Spatialand through a wholly owned subsidiary, Walmart Store No. 8. The purchase is the third for Store No. 8, a center for innovation within Walmart named after the store in which Sam Walton experimented with many of the retail techniques and processes that helped to make Walmart a success.
While the application of virtual reality technology in Retail is still emerging and might not land in your neighborhood store for a couple of years, it is worth noting that Walmart continues to search for emerging technologies that can help it to lead rather than respond to trends. You can view this as a strategy which complements the moves the company has made in recent years to purchase a wide range of eCommerce startups to strengthen its marketplace.
There is a contrarian theory that says there is a danger that retailers become distracted from their core business by chasing technology whose everyday application is undefined, but by housing the center of innovation within Store No. 8 Walmart appears able to insulate day to day operations from that danger.
We featured Walmart as an eCommerce leader in our 2018 Trends blog post, it will be interesting to follow how this purchase plays out and to learn what Walmart’s next move will be. For more information on the purchase please read this article in Retail Dive.
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