RETAIL NEWS

Cyber Monday surpasses Amazon’s Prime Day sale numbers

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Throughout what Amazon calls the “Turkey 5,” or the five shopping days spanning Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday, Amazon customers “worldwide ordered at record levels,” according to the online giant.

Customers ordered “hundreds of millions of products” on Amazon from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday. Amazon App orders on Cyber Monday increased more than 50% worldwide year-over-year. Meanwhile, between new lower prices on turkeys and Prime members receiving an even deeper discount this year, Whole Foods Market in the U.S. broke its all-time record of turkeys sold during the Thanksgiving season, Amazon reported.

The Echo Dot emerged as Amazon’s biggest seller on Cyber Monday. This is in line with Prime Day, when the device was Amazon’s biggest seller during the online giant’s 30-hour shopping event in July.

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, “Customers purchased millions of Amazon’s Alexa-enabled devices, and Alexa devices were the top sellers across all of Amazon,” Dave Limp, senior VP of Amazon’s devices and services division, said in a CNBC report.

Other Alexa-enabled devices sold from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday included the Fire TV Stick, the new Echo, and Amazon’s Fire 7 tablet, according to the report.

“Amazon customers shopped at record levels during the Turkey 5, ordering hundreds of millions of products from toys to fashion to electronics and Amazon devices,” stated Jeff Wilke, CEO Amazon’s Worldwide Consumer division. “Customers ordered nearly 140 million items from small businesses alone, and this is just the beginning of the holiday season.”

The online giant is citing Cyber Monday 2017 as its single biggest shopping day in the company’s history, surpassing Prime Day 2017, which generated approximately $1 billion in revenue, according to initial estimates from analysts at Cowen & Co. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (Some estimates put the total even higher.)

While Amazon did not provide hard sales numbers for Prime Day, the e-retailer said that sales grew by more than 60% compared to last year’s event, with a “record number” of Prime members shopping across 13 countries.

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Albertsons, Instacart partner on home delivery service

BY Marianne Wilson

Albertsons, the nation’s second-largest traditional grocery retailer, has signed an agreement with Instacart, the on-demand grocery delivery service, that will allow the retailer to offer same-day deliveries in as little as an hour.

Under the agreement, Instacart’s delivery service is expected to be available in more than 1,800 of Albertsons’ banners across the country by mid-2018. Albertsons’s store brands include Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen and Carrs.

Amazon’s recent purchase of Whole Foods Market has lit a fire under U.S. grocers — and fueled Instacart’s growth. Since the Amazon/Whole Foods deal was completed, Instacart has added an array of grocers, including Ahold, H-E-B, Kroger, Publix and, most recently, Canada’s Loblaw, to its customer base. Instacart has also expanded its partnership with Costco.

“Instacart’s extensive delivery network combined with Albertsons Companies existing home delivery services and established, robust e-commerce offering creates a fantastic customer proposition,” said Shane Sampson, chief marketing and merchandising officer, Albertsons Companies. “Customers can shop how, when and where they choose, with the convenient option of quick delivery straight to their doorsteps.”

Earlier this year, Albertsons began rolling out same day delivery to its namesake banner and to Safeway. The company said its current home delivery network and digital programs will continue to serve its growing customer base in existing markets.

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Publix announces second location for specialty market

BY Marianne Wilson

The grocery retailer has selected Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, as the second location for its new GreenWise Market concept, which focuses on the specialty, natural and organic sector. The 25,000-sq.-ft. store is expected to open in early 2019.

Publix announced plans earlier this year to reignite its GreenWise store concept, with the first location due to open in Tallahassee, Florida, in 2018. The store is currently under construction. The grocer launched the format in 2007, and currently operates three stores under the banner. But it has not opened a new GreenWise location since 2008.

Publix plans to share additional details about its reworked GreenWise format closer to the inaugural store opening. The company did say it continues to look for additional GreenWise Market locations throughout its operating areas.

“We’re creating an environment where fresh, specialty, natural and organic food is celebrated,” stated Kevin Murphy, Publix senior VP of retail operations, in a release about the Mount Pleasant store. “We’ll have something for everyone, from the indulgent foodie ready to discover something new to the health-conscious shopper seeking fresh, high-quality ingredients.”

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