Move supports the importance of Jet Grocery strategy
Belsham will oversee all operations, including the unit’s online grocery and general merchandise business, Marc Lore, president and chief executive officer of Walmart eCommerce U.S., said in a memo to employees.
“With Jet Grocery being an integral part of the strategy, Simon brings incredible experience in scaling grocery delivery and his unique background in converging technology and retail to create amazing experiences for customers,” Lore said in the memo, according to Thomson Reuters.
Belsham spent seven years at Tesco, one of the United Kingdom’s largest grocery retailers. He also worked at U.K.-based Ocado, helping the online supermarket company expand its nonfood business. Most recently, Belsham was CEO of venture-backed Notonthehighstreet.com.
“There are so many ways technology can change retail and be a force for good in our lives,” Belsham said in a statement. “In my view, there is no business better positioned to take advantage of the opportunity ahead than the combination of Walmart and Jet.”
Belsham succeeds Liza Landsman, who recently announced she would leave Jet.com to join a venture capital firm, New Enterprise Associates, in New York.
Walmart earlier this month announced plans to expand its Online Grocery Delivery option to more than 100 metro areas by year’s end, when the program will be accessible to more than 40% of U.S. households. Walmart in recent years has invested heavily in its Online Grocery Pickup service, upgrading its click-and-collect capabilities that let customers buy online, have store employees fulfill their orders and then drive to the store at their convenience to pick up their groceries. That service is now available in more than 1,200 Walmart stores. The company said it expects to add 1,000 stores this year.
Walmart posted a 23% increase in e-commerce sales in its most recent quarter, compared to the 29% increase a year earlier, as growth fueled by its acquisition of Jet. com began to diminish. For the full year, e-commerce sales rose 44%. Walmart expects e-commerce growth of 40% in the current year.