Walmart Seeks To Foster Tech Innovators For Retail Industry




  With the implementation of what Walmart is calling Store N° 8 the world's largest retailer hopes to draw as many tech innovators as it can into its fold to develop what it hopes will be a new generation of the retail industry. Store N°8 is not a "store" where one would go to make purchases it is rather an innovation hub where the currently assembled team will help those who also want to change the way the world shops for the better. In fact, according to their website, "At Store N° 8 we are hyperfocused on discovering the ideas, people and technologies that won’t just transform the future of retail, but will also change the world." Although that may seem bold and even audacious it does indicate that Walmart seeks to foster tech innovators for the retail industry.



Walmart's Store N° 8


  The name comes from an early Walmart store remembered by Sam Walton as an "experiment" according to the website. This is all about big ideas, even "crazy ideas", ignoring the norm and thinking outside the box. One of the first things you'll see on their website is an image of a drone which represents some of the latest tech innovation when it come to making deliveries. Perhaps they are interested in advancing that innovative tech as the retail industry is clearly headed in that direction. There is also a focus on what is referred to as Values, which might also be called parts of a general philosophy in which "working backwards" so that "today's metrics don't influence our vision for tomorrow", along with audacity and taking risks on "big bets" would lead to success.


   Given the experience of the Store N°8 leadership team it seems clear that this new venture will be focused on the tech end of digital Marketing and eCommerce in an effort to advance their evolution. G. Seth Beal and Katie Finnegan are the two Principals of Store N°8 and their experience is all about tech and innovation. Beal's role is that of SVP, Incubation & Strategic Partnerships for Walmart US e Commerce, which includes his role as Principal for Store N° 8, and his prior experience is in online retail. Incubating tech is to be a tech innovator. Finnegan's time has always been spent in tech startups and it is likely that these will be a major focus as well. One might suspect that tech innovations now emerging such as autonomous systems, machine learning, VR, and even newly developing types of databases could bring about new startups and lead to even newer innovations. Store N°8 will likely venture into supporting as many of these as it deems profitable, and their progress will likely be worth watching.