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Walmart names new Jet.com president

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Walmart’s e-commerce arm has a new leader.

Simon Belsham has been appointed president of Jet.com. He will report directly to Marc Lore, CEO of Walmart’s U.S. e-commerce division (and founder of jet.com) effective Monday, March 26.

In his new role, he will oversee the full scope of operations for the Jet.com business, including driving an integrated customer experience with grocery and general merchandise. He will be based in Hoboken, N.J.

Prior to joining the e-commerce website, Belsham was CEO of venture-backed Notonthehighstreet.com, a curated gifting platform. He also spent seven years at Tesco, leading their grocery online transformation from “tablet to table” across the U.K. and 10 markets across Central Europe and Asia. Belsham also built a general merchandise platform for Ocado, a U.K.-based innovator in online grocery.

“His omnichannel experience and track record of innovation from his time in consumables and durables will help spearhead Jet’s focus to be the leading online retailer for the urban consumers,” Lore said. “With Jet grocery being an integral part of the strategy, Simon brings incredible experience in scaling grocery delivery, and his unique background in converging technology and retail to create amazing experiences for customers.”

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Survey: Price on a purchase-influence downswing

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Other factors are starting to outshine price when it comes to influencing purchase decisions.

The importance of the shopping experience has doubled year-over-year. and the need for variety and speed of fulfillment options also grew, according to “2018 Consumer Trends Report — Engaging the Informed Consumer,” from Kibo.

According to the survey, price is still the top factor influencing purchase decisions for 61% of survey participants, however that percentage is down by more than 12.8% compared with last year. Customers are looking for additional value, including extensive content on branded manufacturer websites, suggesting that product images, videos, reviews, detailed specifications, comparison guides, and other consideration tools are all apt investments.

Buy-online-pickup-in-store is now considered a mainstream offering, with 67% of survey participants having used it in the past six months. Furthermore, shoppers widely recognize that BOPIS offers not only free order fulfillment, but also a degree of flexibility and control not available via home delivery. The ability to inspect items in the store before taking them home was the BOPIS benefit whose importance grew the most year over year, suggesting that stores’ tactile experiences are important brand assets.

Shoppers are also more willing to engage store associates for assistance finding items, with 57% of respondents reporting they’ve done so — an 18.75% increase from 2017. More than two-thirds of respondents said they expected those associates to have access to their order histories, suggesting expectations are high for knowledgeable interactions that draw on shoppers’ past interactions across touchpoints.

Inventory access and availability also remain crucial, with more than half of survey participants reporting that they expect a manufacturer’s site to have items in-stock. Meanwhile, 45% believe they’ll find a greater variety of products available, and 40% believe manufacturers will have more items than retailers.

“As merchants struggle to thrive in the era of Amazon and increasingly look for ways to engage consumers, the key is to understand what factors influence a consumer’s buying behavior,” says Tushar Patel, CMO, Kibo. “It is increasingly clear that while having fair and consistent pricing on all channels is extremely important, merchants have an incredible opportunity to engage shoppers with seamless experiences that include, but are not limited to, flexible fulfillment options like buy online, pickup in store.”

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Raley's
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Raley’s buys 6 Nevada stores from Scolari’s Food & Drug

BY David Salazar

Family-owned grocer Raley’s has acquired six new stores in northern Nevada, the company announced Friday. The purchase from Scolari’s Food & Drug includes five stores under the eponymous banner that will be transferred to the Raley’s banner and one Sak ’N Save that will maintain its name and operate as part of the Raley’s food source division.

“I am pleased that Raley’s will reach and serve even more customers,” Raley’s chairman and CEO Michael Teel said. “Making healthy and affordable food available to more people aligns with our purpose to infuse life with health and happiness, by changing the way the world eats, one plate at a time.”

Raley’s adds these locations to its existing 14 locations in Nevada that include 11 Raley’s banners, one Food Source store and two Aisle One fuel stations.

“We expect to build on the existing customer base by offering even more products and categories at a price that is affordable,” Raley’s president Keith Knopf said. “The Raley’s team will actively listen to customers, and we look forward to learning what the customers want and need from us. We take seriously the stewardship passed to us by the Scolari’s family and will work to preserve the positive impact they have created.”

Raley’s said that more details about the purchase would be shared at a later date. It said it expects the conversions to be complete by late spring.

“With complementary markets and strong family values, we believe Raley’s was the right partner to assume the operation of the six locations of our family business,” Joey Scolari, CEO of Scolari’s Food & Drug, said. “We are confident our customers and employees will be served well under the stewardship of the Raley’s organization.”

The following stores are included in the purchase:

  • Scolari’s Food & Drug: 3310 South McCarran Boulevard, Reno, Nev.;
  • Scolari’s Food & Drug: 4788 Caughlin Parkway, Reno, Nev.;
  • Scolari’s Food & Drug: 1400 US Highway 95A North, Fernley, Nev.;
  • Scolari’s Food & Drug: 176 West Goldfield Avenue, Yerington, Nev.;
  • Scolari’s Food & Drug: Hwy 95 – Air Force Road, Tonopah, Nev.; and
  • Sak ‘N Save: 1901 Silverada Boulevard, Reno, Nev.

 

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