Merchant Innovation

Walmart And Jet Open Grocery Retail Concept In New York

As of yesterday, New Yorkers had a new way to shop for groceries appear on their collective radar — Jet.com opened a temporary grocery store in partnership with Rachel Shechtman’s Story, a 2000 square foot retail concept store.

“What’s fresher than fresh?” Story wrote in a release announcing the partnership with Jet. “Having healthy produce dropped at your door — and you don’t even have to be home to receive it. This is the magic of Jet.com.”

Apart from a series of special in-store events featuring the likes of Bobbi Brown and Mario Batali, the store will feature grocery items from Jet for the next six weeks.

Jet is taking a long hard look at physical grocery just as its parent company’s main competitor Amazon has been doubling down on its Amazon Fresh grocery business in an attempt to expand its reach.

That expansion of purview includes the introduction of AmazonFresh Pickup, an emerging service that allows Prime members to shop online, reserve a time to pick up the groceries and have them loaded into their cars at the store.

Amazon’s physical commerce efforts also involve testing a smart convenience store, Amazon Go, near its Seattle headquarters and expanding its physical bookstore operations.

But Walmart is getting more digital — rolling out online order, store base pick-up nationwide and by lately partnering with Uber and Lyft on grocery delivery for customers.

While eCommerce is the fastest growing portion of the food retail business, few shoppers buy their groceries online. Wells Fargo senior analyst Zachary Fadem estimates that just 1 to 2 percent of total grocery spending occurs online.

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