Walmart's lab adds to its mobile mojo with Stylr buy

Walmart's innovation lab--@WalmartLabs--is buying Stylr, a mobile app that enables shoppers to find clothes in nearby stores, for an undisclosed consideration, the lab said in a blog post. This marks the 13th acquisition by the retailer's technology lab in the past three years.

Stylr is a startup found by Eytan Daniyalzade and Berk Atikoglu and funded by New York-incubator Dreamit Ventures; Daniyalzade and Atikoglu will be jointing @WalmartLabs, which is based in San Bruno, Calif.

The retailer is trying to tap into its younger customers, 80 percent of whom own a smartphone. Half of Walmart's smartphone customers have used their devices in the store to assist with shopping.

"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," Gibu Thomas with @WalmartLabs writes in a blog.

As part of that effort, @WalmartLabs has launched Savings Catcher and e-receipts. Savings Catcher looks for and matches local competitors' ads and provides the difference on an eGift card.

As reported by FierceMobileIT, the e-receipts are organized and stored within the user's Walmart mobile app and the customer is able to use them for returns and making shopping lists. The e-receipts platform will also be used future mobile offerings, such as eCoupons and automated shopping lists.

Walmart's new CEO Doug McMillon said that technology innovations would be his priority for the world's largest retailer. "It is important that we all understand the shift that has happened in technology and retail, what it means for us and what we're doing to win. People now spend more time on digital devices than they do watching TV. A lot of times, they're doing both at the same time," McMillon was quoted by AP as saying.

As a result of the acquisition, Stylr will be removed from the app store by the end of June, but the technology will be used to develop Walmart mobile products in the future, a spokesperson for @WalmartLabs tells AP.

For more:
- check out the @WalmartLabs blog
- read the AP story

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