The New York Post reports that in “ a town hall meeting of Jet.com employees at the 3-year old company’s Hoboken, NJ, headquarters,” staffers were informed that parent company Walmart “will have its youngish Jet.com e-commerce unit focus on shoppers in New York, Chicago, Boston and other large cities, while the 55-year-old discounter’s online store will focus on the rest of the country.”

This two-Americas strategy - “Jet.com for urban millennial customers and Walmart for the remainder of the country” - is said to have “left some Jet.com employees deflated. They felt Walmart bought their startup in August 2016 for $3.3 billion to have it lead the discounter’s online charges across the country.” However, the Post reports that others were relieved, since they were worried that their company and culture would “simply be subsumed by Walmart.”

KC's View: It may not be entirely fair to suggest that the two businesses will be kept completely separate, since Marc Lore, the founder of Jet, is responsible for running both of them. And it strikes me that since having engineered the sale of Jet to Walmart and taken over both e-commerce businesses, Lore has managed to get Walmart to show an unaccustomed willingness to try new things. It’s almost as if Walmart gave Lore the keys to the car, told him to feel free to take it for a long test drive and not worry about it if be brings it back with a few dents.

I wouldn’t be overly worried about this strategy if I worked for Jet. After all, they’re getting the cool part of the business, and the part that is likely to show the most growth and perhaps the least resistance.