Grocery Roundup: New Amazon Fresh Store, SpartanNash Puts Incentives In ‘Fast Lane,' Walmart On Autonomous Delivery

It’s been a busy time in the grocery world this week, with digital innovation at the core of the headlines in the industry.

Here are the latest developments in new store concepts, ordering and delivery from various big names in the sector:

 Amazon To Open Amazon Fresh Store In New Jersey

Amazon is growing its brick-and-mortar footprint for Amazon Fresh with a New Jersey outpost for the concept.

The new store in Woodland Park will take the place of a closed Fairway Market in a shopping center that also has a GameStop, Barnes & Noble and Kohl’s department store.

Amazon bought Fairway Market stores in Woodland Park and Paramus, but it has not made plans known for location in the latter municipality.

Amazon Fresh stores showcase “dash carts” that scan items without human intervention. In lieu of waiting in a checkout line, shoppers are charged after they exit the store.

The news comes as the first Amazon Fresh opened, with the eCommerce retailer providing access to the general public to the Los Angeles store in September.

Walmart Collaborates With Autonomous Vehicle Firm Cruise On Delivery

Walmart is joining forces with autonomous vehicle company Cruise on a delivery pilot with self-driving automobiles.

Shoppers will be able to make an order from their local store and have contactless delivery via an all-electric self-driving car from Cruise as part of the experimental effort.

“We’re excited to add Cruise to our lineup of autonomous vehicle pilots as we continue to chart a whole new roadmap for retail,” said Tom Ward, senior vice president of customer product, Walmart U.S.

Ward noted that Cruise is the only self-driving car firm to run a complete fleet of all-electric vehicles fueled by 100 percent renewable energy, “which supports our road to zero emissions by 2040.”

SpartanNash Puts eCommerce Grocery Into The ‘Fast Lane’

SpartanNash is doubling down on eCommerce grocery with news emerging this week that complimentary curbside pickup and “half-off” delivery is available via its Fast Lane offering.

The company, which currently operates 156 grocery stores, noted that the complimentary pickup is available on all Fast Lane orders that are at least $50, while half-off delivery is available on orders of more than $100.

SpartanNash noted that those who currently subscribe to the Fast Lane offering will have an eight-week extension added to their plans. Customers that enroll in a subscription by the end of the year will also get the extension.

“Providing our store guests with options that fit their shopping preferences — whether that be shopping in-store or using curbside pickup and at-home delivery — is part of our commitment at SpartanNash,” said Tom Swanson, executive vice president and general manager, corporate retail.

As it stands, 69 SpartanNash stores in Wisconsin, South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota and Michigan provide the Fast Lane offering.

Fast Lane personal shoppers are also SpartanNash associates, and they follow “all company COVID-19 protocols” when packing orders, according to SpartanNash.

Giant Eagle Unveils Multi-Tier Rewards Program

 Giant Eagle, the Pennsylvania-based supermarket chain, has debuted its myPerks multi-tiered loyalty program in a community in Ohio.

The program offers a dollar reward for each 50 “perks” accrued at the Market District and Giant Eagle grocery stores in addition to the GetGo convenience stores.

“By shifting to a ‘dollars off’ reward structure, we make it easier for our guests to redeem their rewards whenever it is most convenient for them,” said Dan Donovan, a representative for the grocery chain.

Shoppers in Canton, Ohio who accrue 2,500 qualifying perks in six months receive access to the myPerks Pro tier, which lets them earn 50 percent higher perks on supermarket items, fuel, gift cards, medication and other items.

The bottom line: Grocers are expanding their efforts to offer consumers rewards for shopping in their stores or how they purchase their groceries in the digital age.



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