Walmart is acquiring a virtual fitting room company to enhance its online apparel division.
The Bentonville retailer is purchasing Zeekit, an Israeli company that has developed a dynamic virtual fitting room that uses real-time image processing to map an individual’s image and clothing items, allowing them to see a fitting stimulation.
Denis Incandela, executive vice president of apparel and private brands for Walmart, announced that the acquisition would help enhance Walmart customers’ online experience. The new technology will allow customers to try on a range of clothing from national brands and Walmart exclusive clothing items.
“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. Zeekit will help us deliver an inclusive, immersive and personalized experience for our diverse customer base,”Incandela wrote in a corporate blog post.
The Zeefit platform will enable Walmart customers to upload a picture of themselves or to select a representative model, and they can instantly see clothes tried on in the virtual fitting room. The platform also has a social element, allowing customers to get a second opinion from friends.
Zeekit was founded by Yael Vizel, Nir Appleboim and Alon Kristal, with Vizel serving as CEO, Kristal as chief technology officer and Appleboim as vice president of research and development. According to Incandela, they will continue to lead the Zeekit team following the acquisition.
According to the Zeefit corporate website, this technology, which uses elements of real-time image processing, computer vision, deep learning and artificial intelligence, allows for a customer’s image to be mapped into thousands of segments, which are then remapped into a final stimulation with the image of a selected piece of clothing.
In the past year, Walmart has had several notable fashion-related partnerships. In March 2021, Walmart announced that it hired fashion designer Brandon Maxwell to serve as the creative director for its new exclusive fashion lines, Free Assembly and Scoop. Maxwell is expected to drive four seasonal collections for Free Assembly and Scoop annually.
Walmart also partnered with ThredU, the world’s largest online consignment and thrift store, in May 2020.
Walmart’s most recent acquisition was in the health sector with the purchase of MeMD. Walmart announced on May 6 that the two companies had agreed to the purchase, which will enable Walmart Health to provide access to virtual health care.