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Walmart buys virtual fitting room Zeekit for an undisclosed sum

By Angela Gonzalez-Rodriguez


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Image: Zeekit, official website

The largest world’s retailer keeps true to its commitment to growing digital with their latest acquisition: Zeekit. The Israeli-based virtual fitting room startups will help Walmart’s push into fashion and caters to online shoppers.

The company published an update on their website where their U.S.’s executive vice president of apparel and private brands, Denise Incandela, advanced that customers will be able to use the feature to try on items from both Walmart’s private labels and other brands they offer such as Free People, Champion and Levi Strauss & Co.

“Virtual try-on is a game-changer and solves what has historically been one of the most difficult things to replicate online — understanding fit and how an item will actually look on you,” she said in the website post. “Zeekit will help us deliver an inclusive, immersive and personalized experience for our diverse customer base.”

For the time being, Walmart has declined to talk about the deal, reminding of their observing a quiet period ahead of reporting its first-quarter earnings on Tuesday next week. Financial terms of the deal remain undisclosed.

Zeekit’s acquisition to help Walmart regain leadership amongst U.S. clothing retailers

When the technology launches on Walmart’s website, customers will be able to upload photos of themselves or choose from different models that represent their height, shape and skin tone. The technology will show how the clothing would fit and resemble the experience they have at a store. They can also enlist a friend’s help in deciding on a purchase by sharing the virtual outfit and getting an opinion.

The main drivers for this deal were improving the customer experience and taking online shopping social, according to Incandela’s post. In the long run, this acquisition can help Walmart take aim at competitors like Amazon to conquer the title of top seller of apparel in the U.S.

Amazon has recently surpassed Walmart to take that title, and now accounts for about 11 percent to 12 percent of all apparel sold in the U.S. and 34 percent to 35 percent of all apparel sold online, according to an estimate by Wells Fargo in mid-March.

“Given its scalability, we believe Zeekit’s technology can also be used to create other fashion experiences, including the ability to build the world’s largest virtual closet and mix and match clothing seamlessly,” further explained Walmart’s U.S.’s executive vice president of apparel and private brands in a corporate blog post.

Over the years Walmart has sought to raise its profile by adding fashion labels to its portfolio. Menswear retailer Bonobos, women’s brand ModCloth and plus-sized brand Eloquii were some of the latest acquisitions on that front. It has also launched its own private labels like Sofia Jeans – a collaboration with actress Sofia Vergara - and Free Assembly. Aiming even further, the retail group partnered with ThredUp to sell gently used high-end apparel and accessories at affordable prices.

Image: Zeekit, official website