Amazon hopes third US Prime Day sale to help it break into grocery business

This is the third time the online retail giant Amazon is holding its Prime Day. (Reuters)
Updated 10 July 2017
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Amazon hopes third US Prime Day sale to help it break into grocery business

DUBAI: Amazon hopes its third annual Prime Day on Tuesday could be the ideal launching pad for something the giant online retailer is not exactly known for even for its most loyal customers: groceries.
Seattle-based Amazon has declared July 11 to be Prime Day but 30 US cities are already enjoying marked down prices on grocery items like Halo Top ice cream, La Croix sparkling water since July 8, days ahead of the online retailer’s third attempt at such a large-scale event.
Amazon is hopeful the buzz generated by its $13.4 billion (SR50.25 billion) acquisition of upscale grocery chain Whole Foods would encourage people to sign up to AmazonFresh, its take on a grocery delivery and pick-up service available only for Prime members in select cities across the US.
Purchasing Whole Foods also represented a major leap in the company’s long-running battle with Walmart, the largest grocery retailer in the US, as the deal gave them an instant brick-and-mortar network across the country.
Wal-Mart controls the biggest share of the US food and grocery market, with about 14.5 percent of all sales, according to estimates and analysis from GlobalData Retail.
Whole Foods meanwhile has a 1.2 percent share on all US food and grocery sales and Amazon has about a 0.2 percent share of that $800 billion market.
Amazon’s push into grocery is further bolstered its Prime Day plans to sell various food and household items for as much as 35 percent off with onsite coupons in Prime Pantry, an “everyday essentials” section that features many products from one of Amazon’s own food brands, Wickedly Prime.
Prime members can also shop exclusive deals – many for food and beverage items – available for free, two-hour delivery, ahead of the highly anticipated, 30-hour Prime Day.
The first Prime Day was held on July 15, 2015 to celebrate Amazon’s 20th anniversary, and its success at boosting sales and bringing in new Prime members prompted the company to do it again on July 12 last year.
Amazon has been experimenting with technology to help grow its grocery business and in December 2016 Amazon Go, which grab-and-go stores without cashiers and checkout lines.
Customers can use a mobile app to enter an Amazon Go store and items they want to buy are automatically added to their virtual cart as they grab them off the shelf. Their Amazon accounts are then charged when they are finished shopping and leave the shop.
Amazon said its beta store located in Seattle was just currently open to employees.


Saudia to boost its Airbus A320neo fleet

Updated 5 min 58 sec ago
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Saudia to boost its Airbus A320neo fleet

  • The additional firm order takes the airline’s order from the A320neo family of aircraft to 65
  • 15 of which are the new Airbus A321XLR planes

PARIS: Saudi Arabian Airlines has decided to expand its order of the existing Airbus A320neo family of planes from 35 to as many as 100, including 35 options, the companies said.
The additional firm order takes the airline’s order from the A320neo family of aircraft to 65, of which 15 are the new Airbus A321XLR planes, the companies said on Tuesday.