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Industry NewsWalmart’s Jet.com opens pop-up store; could signal the future of retail

Walmart’s Jet.com opens pop-up store; could signal the future of retail

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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Jet.com, the company that Walmart bought in 2016 for US$3 billion, has opened what it’s calling the “grocery shop concept of the future.”

Named Fresh Story, the temporary food-themed concept store is open in New York City from May 10 to June 18, and showcases artisanal accessories, cookbooks, and kitchen appliances, according to a Business Insider report.

Everything inside the space is food-themed, such as facemasks made from tomatoes, kale-flavoured chocolate bars, socks with ice cream prints, and banana-shaped flasks. Some of the walls feature cherry scratch ‘n’ sniff wallpaper.

The larger goal of the temporary store is to raise awareness around Jet’s grocery delivery service, Sumaiya Balbale, Jet’s vice-president of marketing, told Business Insider.

As thousands of mall-based stores close around the U.S., Balbale says the set-up – a store that’s constantly changing and includes interactive events – could signal the future of brick-and-mortar retail.

“Retail is rapidly evolving,” Balbale told Business Insider. “Tech is changing a lot of the ways in which people shop, and the way that retailers can fulfill on those behaviours. It’s an exciting time to experiment. I don’t think shopping behaviours are set in stone, and there’s a lot of opportunity to help shape them.

Widely considered an Amazon competitor, Jet was founded in 2014 by Marc Lore, who now serves as the CEO of Walmart E-commerce. Jet’s installation at Story is the first time the online retailer is selling its products in a physical location, the news report says.

Image: Jet.com via Instagram

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