jet.com wal-mart story

Jet.com might have linked with the ultimate retail giant when it took a $3 billion-plus buyout from Wal-Mart Stores Inc. last year, but it’s starting out in bricks and mortar with a different retailer — Rachel Shechtman’s Story in New York.

The always changing concept store opens its door to Fresh Story today, its 34th installation and a six-week ode to Jet.com’s fresh grocery and artisan food offerings.

Story, which seeks to blur the lines between retail and media, will gather foodies of all sorts to talk about good eats. Fresh ingredients will be “editorialized.”

Among the many events, chef Mario Batali, whose goods will be featured in the store, will be on hand Friday evening to talk food, and Maya Jankelowitz from Jack’s Wife Freda will lead a conversation on June 13 with female food entrepreneurs.

“To augment the conversation around innovation, Fresh Story features some exciting launches, from the June Intelligent Oven to the Joule sous vide tool,” Shechtman said.

Experience — which Story serves up in spades — and food are two of the hottest topics in retail as stores seek to entice people into their stores and divert their attention from mobile commerce.

That makes this a good time for Story to weigh in with its take on food. The concept just turned five and has captured the imagination of the New York retail scene, although the concept has so far been held to one location, 144 10th Avenue.

“Community and entertainment are two things that need to be a part of the future of retail,” Shechtman said recently. “So when I think about us growing, it’s how can we take the experience that we had building a community and entertaining and engaging experiences at a local level and make them relevant at a national level?”

Jet.com is also trying to come up with a new approach. Founded by Amazon ex-pat Marc Lore, the ambitious start-up sought to aggressively build scale, and is still at it as part of Wal-Mart. Much of its hook relies on different ways to ship goods more efficiently, for instance giving a discount to shoppers when they order two products that happen to be housed in the same warehouse.

The e-commerce firm delivers fresh groceries without refrigerated trucks using insulated packaging, reusable frozen gel packs and recyclable bags. Jet.com also developed a way to ship perishable items that require different temperatures, such as produce and ice cream, in the same box.

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