Store No 8 Is Wal-Mart's Idea Incubator

January 17, 2018

Wal-Mart's start-up incubator Store No 8 wants to find the next big technology that will disrupt the retail industry not in the next few years, but in the next few decades.

Co-founder Katie Finnegan joined Cheddar to discuss the business's mission.

"What we're trying to do is incubate new ideas that are generally being driven by emerging technologies," she said. "Things that are may be too nascent for the 160 million or so Americans we, Wal-mart, serve every week, but that we believe, when it becomes a viable operational reality, will have a material step-change impact."

Among those technologies: virtual reality. Store No 8 recently held an "Innovate" event in Los Angeles highlighting those advancements. Finnegan says VR will "really change the game in terms of merchandising".

While the subsidiary aims to create businesses that will eventually be acquired by the retail giant, it also knows there could be third party options.

"We have discussed that some of these things might have revenue streams outside of [Wal-Mart] and we would definitely be open to that."

Finnegan calls Store No 8 a "unicorn opportunity" for entrepreneurs. The company recently acquired Bart Stein and the team over at Wim Yogurt. It's planning at least two more acquisitions by the end of the year.

To watch the full interview, click here.