Wal-Mart has acquired Stylr, the 13th tech move in three years as the retailer works to build infrastructure to support the next generation of retail. The deal was announced via a blog post by @WalmartLab executive Gibu Thomas late Monday (June 16).
“As we continue to integrate digital and physical retail to create new and unique experiences for customers, we’re thrilled to add Stylr to our mobile team. Over half of Walmart smartphone users have used their device in-store to assist with their shopping, and with 80% of our customers under the age of 35 owning a smartphone, we expect this to grow dramatically. We are excited about the opportunity to serve these customers with indispensable digital tools that bring the convenience of online shopping into our physical stores and integrate our online and offline experiences to enable our customers to shop anytime, anywhere,” Thomas, senior vice president of mobile and digital at Walmart.com, noted in the blog announcement.
Stylr is a fashion finding app that helps consumers find clothes in nearby stores. The Stylr app allows consumers to flip through a rack of clothes on their smartphone. It pulls in inventory from local stores, letting shoppers find what they want, then reserve it at the store directly from the mobile device. The app will be pulled from the iTunes store later this month as the company moves inside @WalmartLabs.
Wal-Mart does not disclose the terms of its tech acquisitions. The retailer did say the two company founders, Eytan Daniyalzade and Berk Atikoglu, will join Walmart’s San Bruno office. Stylr is a small shop with just the two founders at the time of the acquisition.
Both founders are Stanford-educated engineers and have a history of working in the technology industry. Atikoglu previously worked at Cisco and Facebook, and Daniyalzade has experience at Adapt.tv, Chartbeat, Microsoft and McKinsey.
Thomas said @WalmartLabs routinely visits with many companies to discover new innovations and learn best practices. He said @WalmartLabs recently connected with Stylr, which was funded by Dreamit Ventures, a New York incubator.
“We were really impressed with Eytan and Berk’s ability to quickly develop and grow Stylr. ... They built a great experience for their users and we loved their passion for bridging digital and physical shopping experiences – and together we realized the opportunity to create a greater impact on more consumers, brands and the overall ecommerce industry with Stylr as part of the Walmart family,” Thomas said.
For now Stylr won’t be integrated into Walmart’s own mobile apps but Thomas said the retailer will “leverage best practices and insights” from the Stylr app. Together the teams will work more broadly on enhancing digital capabilities in sync with physical retail.
“Needless to say, we are excited to welcome these incredibly talented guys to join the @WalmartLabs team and help us accelerate our digital transformation of the in-store experience. We can’t wait to see what they come up with,” Thomas said.