Wal-Mart to buy social media firm Kosmix

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc <WMT.N> 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 U.S. 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.

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"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 Amazon.com Inc <AMZN.O> in 1998, will continue to be based in California's Silicon Valley.

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