Walmart to Buy Virtual Fitting-Room Startup to Help Apparel Unit
(Bloomberg) -- Walmart Inc. agreed to acquire Zeekit, an Israeli startup whose technology lets customers try on clothing without ever entering a store’s fitting room.
Zeekit’s three founders -- Yael Vizel, Alon Kristal and Nir Appleboim -- will join Walmart as part of the deal, the retailer said Thursday. Financial terms of the transaction weren’t disclosed.
Zeekit’s image-processing technology, which has been used by brands such as Levi Strauss & Co. and Tommy Hilfiger, allows shoppers to see a digital rendering of themselves wearing an item of clothing. That could give an edge to Walmart’s apparel business -- a focus of growth for the chain because it offers wider margins than its core grocery products.
Shoppers can upload a picture of themselves, or choose a model that best represents their height, shape and skin tone. The Zeekit service, whose name means “chameleon” in Hebrew, launched in 2016.
As part of the deal, Walmart will halt Zeekit’s work with other apparel retailers, a representative said. It’s unclear exactly when Walmart customers will be able to use the service.
Walmart has taken other steps to bolster its apparel business, including acquisitions, developing new private labels, and hiring designer Brandon Maxwell as the creative director for its Scoop and Free Assembly brands.
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