For a while now, Amazon‘s been running a slightly odd promotion called “Treasure Trucks,” where essentially giant vans of deals park on city streets and public squares and offer deals on various items. It’s a bit quirky, but it works — a little roadshow fun for the biggest digital company on earth. However, now that Amazon owns places accessible to the public, namely hundreds of Whole Foods stores, it’s taken on a new dimension and underscores the potential changes facing the grocery industry.
As Grub Street lays out, it’s pretty simple: Amazon parks a Treasure Truck to get customers coming and going. Whole Foods customers, of course, might see the truck and wander over to take a gander. But the truck also lures Amazon customers to Whole Foods:
Those individuals can buy the discounted items via the Amazon app wherever they are, then hustle over to the Treasure Truck conveniently parked at another Amazon-owned property to collect them…Amazon now plans to sweeten these deals further by rewarding Treasure Truck impulse-buyers with a reason to grocery-shop, too — a press release says to expect coupons that offer, for example, $10 off a Whole Foods purchase of $40 or more.
By itself, it’s what you’d expect. Of course, Amazon is going to park its trucks in the parking lots of the store it owns. But it’s also a fairly brilliant move in the sense that it both overcomes the “Whole Paycheck” perception Amazon’s been trying to price cut its way out of and also offers an advantage other grocery stores don’t have: A way to drive foot traffic.
As we’ve noted before, Amazon has a few advantages other grocery chains are going to need to figure out a response to, one way or the other. The biggest remains, by far, the company’s vast purchasing power, but its broad reach gives it the ability to leverage that in unusual ways like, well, having a deals truck roll into your parking lot and start selling trendy stuff out the back. On its own, it’s not going to tip the grocery game to Amazon tomorrow. But it’s another reminder that sooner or later, Amazon’s going to start making real in-roads in a mostly brick-and-mortar industry.
(via Grub Street)