PhotoIn another move to help it compete with Amazon, Walmart has launched Jetblack -- a new concierge-style shopping service that lets customers order items via text message with same-day or next-day delivery.

The service is currently available in parts of New York City, but only via invitation. Membership costs $50 a month. It’s being marketed as a service for “time-strapped urban parents.”

“Consumers are looking for more efficient ways to shop for themselves and their families without having to compromise on product quality,” said Jenny Fleiss, co-founder and CEO of Jetblack.

“With Jetblack, we have created an entirely new concept that enables consumers to get exactly what they need through the convenience of text messaging and the freedom of a nearly unlimited product catalogue. We are confident this service will make shopping frictionless, more personalized and delightful,” Fleiss said in a statement.

Targeted at moms

The new service -- which was developed in Walmart’s in-house incubator, Store No. 8 -- touts itself as "the easiest way for busy moms to shop."

Shoppers can request “everything from birthday gifts to household essentials” from Walmart, Jet, Saks Fifth Avenue, and other New York shops. A few perks of the service include free gift wrapping, “handwritten gift cards,” and party favors. Consumers can also request product recommendations. Jetblack won’t deliver groceries, prescription medicines, or alcohol.

"All of our products are researched, curated, and tested by real NYC moms you can trust,” the company’s website says, adding that there is no minimum amount to spend.

The service has been operating in beta in Manhattan for the last eight months, but it just opened its waitlist to New York City residents. Consumers can join Jetblack's waitlist here.

The company says it plans to expand the service beyond New York City in the future, but it didn’t provide a timeline for when that might happen.

Jetblack’s launch comes less than a month after Walmart unveiled a website redesign that focused on “upscale” fashion.


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