WalmartLabs buys Stylr mobile app

WalmartLabs (NYSE:WMT) has acquired Stylr, a mobile app that allows shoppers to find apparel items in nearby stores.

"As part of this journey to offer the best tools to help customers save money and time so they can live better, we talk to many companies to discover new innovations, learn best practices, and much more," wrote WalmartLabs in a blog post announcing the acquisition.

Stylr lets shopper browse items on a mobile device and then pulls inventory from nearby stores to reserve and buy. The company had parternships with several large retailers including Abercrombie & Fitch, Gap, Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus, according to TechCrunch.

Walmart and its Labs subsidiary have been on an acquisition tear of late as the retailer works furiously to integrate the physical and digital realms. Few initiatives are as important to the retailer.

"We need to get better at what we're already doing right now," CEO Doug McMillon said during Walmart's annual shareholder meeting June 6. "We need to bring together the world of e-commerce with the physical world of our stores."

To that end, Walmart has been testing buy online and ship to store, buy online and ship from store, and even a grocery pickup service called Walmart to Go. The program in Denver — not to be confused with the Walmart to Go convenience store test in Bentonville, Arkansas — lest shoppers order groceries and pick them up at dedicated facility, without ever leaving their cars.

And of course there are the many technology acquisitions. Stylr is the company's 13th tech acquisition this year and the first Silicon Alley-based company in New York. In several of these acquisitions, Walmart is more interested in the talent and employee pool than the existing technology, and this looks to be the case with Stylr.

Stylr was founded by Stanford alumni Eytan Daniyalzade and Berk Atikoglu and was funded by Dreamit Ventures, a New York-based incubator. In announcing the acquisition, Walmart Labs noted the speed with which Daniyalzade and Atikoglu developed and grew the app.

The app itself is being shut down and the talent and technology absorbed by WalmartLabs.

More than half of Walmart smartphone users have used their device in-store to assist with their shopping, and 80 percent of its shoppers under the age of 35 own a smartphone. "We expect this to grow dramatically," said the company's statement. "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.

For more:
-See this WalmartLabs blog post
-See this Techcrunch story

Related stories:
Walmart's e-receipt a new mobile platform
Walmart rolls out Savings Catcher nationwide
Walmart profit drops 5% as small-format stores, Web sales grow
Walmart promises to buy more tech startups
Walmart to require three-digit security codes for in-store purchases

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