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Whole Foods Market offering deals prior to Amazon’s Prime Day

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Amazon is using Whole Foods Market to kick off Prime Day in a big way.

Leading up to Prime Day on July 16, the online giant will offer a week of deals at Whole Foods stores. It’s even offering an incentive: Prime members who spend $10 at Whole Foods from July 11 through July 17 will receive a $10 Amazon account credit to use during the 36-hour sales event. Prime Day kicks off on July 16 and will last 36 hours.

Throughout the week, Whole Foods will also feature sales on select seasonal items, including fresh produce, meats, and grocery items. Amazon Prime Rewards Visa cardmembers will also earn 10% back at Whole Foods, up to $400 in purchases, throughout the pre-sale, as well as during the 36-hour Prime Day shopping event.

Amazon is also using the pre-sale week to drive some business for its Prime Now grocery delivery service. Prime members who try Prime Now before July 17, will receive $10 off their order, as well as $10 to use towards a future order.

This will be the first year that Whole Foods is part of Amazon’s Prime Day sale. In addition to snagging deep discounts on select popular products during Prime Day, customers will also get an additional 10% off hundreds of sale items throughout Whole Foods stores.

“Since Amazon acquired Whole Foods 13 months ago, it has been steadily integrating the grocery chain and its loyal customers. Prime Day deals connected to Whole Foods further integrates the grocery chain into the Amazon family and sets up a potentially lucrative 36-hour shopping period July 16-17,” said Tom Caporaso, CEO of Clarus Commerce.

“The fact that Amazon will launch this incentive for Prime members on July 11, is a very smart move, generating excitement and engagement around Whole Foods and Prime Day itself,” he added. “Amazon’s focus is and has always been on its customers and taking the friction out of shopping. By adding Whole Foods benefits to Prime, 100 million consumers now have a very good reason to shop there – or better yet – a reason not to shop elsewhere.”

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Walmart looks to make a splash in NYC through Jet.com

BY Marianne Wilson

Walmart is upping the ante in the grocery delivery wars in one of the nation’s most competitive markets.

“This is a key building block that is part of Jet’s strategy focused on urban centers and will help us build personal relationships with customers while offering them a unique assortment, tailored experience and personal service,” said Simon Belsham, president of Jet.com.

Walmart’s Jet.com division announced it will open a fulfillment center in New York City, in the Bronx, that will support same-day and next-day delivery throughout the city. The center will exclusively house Jet inventory, which includes groceries and everyday essentials.

To support its delivery efforts, Jet is partnering with Parcel, a last-mile delivery start-up Walmart acquired last October. It provides customers with live updates via text messages about delivery status.

In offering same-day delivery in New York City, Jet.com will compete with Target, which offers same-day delivery for in-store purchases to part of the city for a fee. Also, Amazon Prime provides same-day grocery delivery in the city.

Jet’s headquarters are in Hoboken, New Jersey. The company said the new center will create hundreds of jobs in the New York area.

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Weis Markets brings Aruba Wi-Fi to its stores, DCs

BY David Salazar

Weis Markets is making sure its employees and shoppers can stay connected with a new partnership. The Sunbury, Pa.-based retailer has looked to Santa Clara, Calif.-based Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company to bring wireless internet to all 205 of its stores, distribution and warehouse centers.

“From an operational perspective, secure, high-performance Wi-Fi allows our 23,000 store associates and 1,000 associates in distribution centers and headquarters to ensure that correct products are purchased, inventoried, selected and placed on retail shelves,” said Weis Markets manager of systems administration Jacob Koch. “From a sales and service perspective, that same foundation will allow us to offer better in-store mobile experiences for our customers, adopt more sophisticated app services so we can push out offers via our mobile app, and gain insights into our customers’ behaviors and needs.”

Weis will be using Aruba’s Gigabit Wi-Fi Instant access points, and it added Aruba’s ClearPass network control feature, which allows it to differentiate between corporate, personal and guest devices. Alongside Aruba’s AirWave network management, Koch said Weis Markets will be able to reduce costs and improve efficiencies. which the companies said allows it to make its wireless infrastructure easier to deploy and manage. It also offers full-store coverage for the store to keep customers connected.

“This gives us an advantage, compared to our competitors, who might only offer wireless in a café area,” Koch said. “Customers can download and use our app anywhere in the store without having to move to the cellular network and thereby, experience faster response times.”

Koch said that Weis is planning to adopt analytics software to help the chain uncover customer habits to help respond to their needs and drive sales.

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