The largest U.S. retailer is putting more effort into gaining a stronger foothold in the fashion market.
According to an official statement from Walmart, the company has been absorbed by the startup Zeekit, which specializes in creating virtual dressing rooms. The developed technology allows customers to estimate what their clothes will look like - for this purpose, it will be enough to upload your photo. The results can be shared with friends, for example, to get their opinion.
Denise Incandela, head of fashion at Walmart U.S., said shoppers would be able to use the virtual try-on feature for both company-owned brands and brands such as Free People, Champion, and Levi Strauss. It will make online shopping more social and improve the quality of the service. And while the main problem with online shopping has historically been a lack of understanding of how the item purchased will ultimately look on the customer, the virtual fitting should be a "game-changer."
Recently, Walmart has been paying more and more attention to the fashion market. To do so, the retailer is launching its brands (like Sofia Jeans, Scoop, or Free Assembly), hiring designers (like Brandon Maxwell, who created dresses for Michelle Obama and Lady Gaga). Walmart includes more well-known clothing brands in its product offerings and deals with companies like ThredUp, which specializes in used clothing. The takeover of Zeekit is another step in that direction.
The financial details of the deal were not disclosed. Walmart representatives also declined to comment, citing a lull in anticipation of its first-quarter earnings report, which will be released sometime very soon.
The startup Zeekit comes from Israel. It was founded by a small team of three specialists who already had much experience in real-time image processing using machine learning technologies. They were initially working on technology for the military but later decided to try their hand in the fashion world. Zeekit has unique and patented proprietary technology.