Jet.com has launched its own brand of household items and food, seeking to win over more young, city dwellers as part of parent company Walmart’s (WMT) efforts to compete harder with Amazon.com (AMZN).
The private label brand, called Uniquely J, will offer a variety of 50 goods to start, ranging from Sriracha sauce to sandwich bags, toilet paper, coffee and laundry detergent. The move illustrates just how much more important house brands are becoming to pure play e-commerce players, as well as brick-and-mortar chains. Private brands offer retailers more control over the supply chain and positioning in stores, as well as better profit margins, and when successful, are popular with consumers for their lower prices.
Amazon, with its recent acquisition of Whole Foods Market, vastly increased its assortment thanks to the popular 365 brand. Costco Wholesale’s (COST) Kirkland generates $20 billion in sales a year. Target (TGT) is in the process of overhauling its private brands assortment.
As for Jet.com, which Walmart bought last year for $3 billion to re-energize its e-commerce and pace of innovation, the idea of Uniquely J, is too strengthen its hold on its customers who focus on lower prices but also consider the originality and attributes of a product.
While Jet.com does not sell its items on Walmart.com, it is conceivable it could down the line as the parent company’s web site seems poised to start expanding its offering beyond its own assortment. According to a Wall Street Journal report last week, Walmart is close to a deal with HBC’s (HBC) Lord & Taylor, to provide a point of entry on walmart.com for the department store’s online business.