Walmart Boasts Jet’s Ecomm Capabilities Through Pop-Up Partnership
Walmart has taken another swing at Amazon.com by setting up a pop-up shop in a partnership between its Jet.com ecommerce division and Story, a 2,000-square-foot boutique in New York that reinvents itself every three to eight weeks, to raise awareness of Jet’s grocery delivery capabilities.
Jet is sponsoring the shop, open through June 18 in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, which is food-themed and showcases a wide assortment from Jet’s fresh grocery offering and artisan foods. It is said to be a “way for Jet to connect with customers” in real life, with a representative telling Business Insider, “We are the same people offline as we are online.” Items typically are rather quirky, including such products as face masks made from tomatoes and kale-flavored chocolate bars – with the average product priced at $38. Everything is food-themed.
“We have always wanted to do a Story around food, and after learning about Jet.com’s fresh grocery offering, it felt like perfect timing,” said Rachel Shechtman, Story’s founder.
Favorite local artisans bring their personal experiences and flair to a conversation about fresh. Mario Batali will showcase his entire collection of merchandise – from pasta to handmade cutting boards; beauty expert Bobbi Brown will showcase the healthful benefits of fresh produce surrounding the launch of her new book, “Beauty from the Inside Out”; and Maya Jankelowitz, from New York bistro Jack’s Wife Freda, will lead a conversation with female food entrepreneurs. Workshops also will be hosted to inspire others to roll up their sleeves, including cooking classes for kids and mixology lessons with Hella Cocktail Co. for adults.
The store also boasts a number of unique design elements. More obvious are a floor-to-ceiling installation of Jet shipping boxes and cherry scratch-and-sniff wallpaper on certain walls. Less obvious is its floor, which uses heat-mapping technology that tracks patrons' movements and can tell whether an area needs to be rearranged due to less movement.
“We are thrilled to partner with Story to introduce Jet Fresh and showcase how we are innovating in the space of online grocery shopping and delivery,” said Sumaiya Balbale, VP of marketing at Jet.
The shop marks Walmart’s latest effort to combat Amazon with its own ecommerce operations, a battle that has heated quickly since the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer acquired Jet.com last year and brought its chief, Marc Lore, on board to head ecommerce operations. Most recently, the two have engaged in a price war for delivery: Earlier this week, Amazon reduced its minimum shipping fee for free delivery from $35 to $25 per order. Walmart met the $35 minimum in late January – lowering the price from $50 – which caused Amazon to respond one month later by lowering its own fee from $49 to $35. Other ways the two are competing include Amazon's entrance into brick-and-mortar operations and drive-up kiosks, and Walmart's launch of a tech incubator and attempt to one-up Amazon's one-push-ordering Amazon Dash buttons.