Walmart To Buy Social Media Firm Kosmix

(NEW YORK) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc said on Monday it agreed to buy social media company Kosmix for an undisclosed sum, as the world's largest retailer aims to win over more tech-savvy shoppers.

Wal-Mart said Kosmix's founders and team will operate as part of a newly formed group called @WalmartLabs that will create technologies and businesses around shopping online or with smart phones.

"We are expanding our capabilities in today's rapidly growing social commerce environment," said Eduardo Castro-Wright, Walmart's vice chairman. "Social networking and mobile applications are increasingly becoming a part of our customers' day-to-day lives globally, influencing how they think about shopping."

Earlier on Monday, Wal-Mart's chief executive Mike Duke said in a statement that his top priority for this year was to turn around same-store sales at its U.S. discount chain.

Kosmix's founders, who sold their first company Junglee to Inc in 1998, will continue to be based in California's Silicon Valley.

(Reporting by Martinne Geller, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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