Online marketplace Jet.com wants to help drum up in-store sales on Black Friday.
The site, which is almost four-months-old, will kick off a “Purple Friday” program that encourages members to go and shop at the brick-and-mortar stores of participating Jet retail partners. The name is a play on Jet’s signature purple color, which is splashed all over the site. Already, a handful of retailers are on board, including Toys ‘R’ Us, Babies ‘R’ Us, Sports Authority, Lord & Taylor, Uniqlo and Brookstone.
Liza Landsman, chief customer officer at Jet, said that from 5 p.m. Thanksgiving through 11:59 p.m on Black Friday, any customers who spend at least $50 in any of above retailers can earn $10 back in JetCash, with a maximum of three purchases. All members have to do is snap a picture of their receipt and submit it to Jet through a dedicated portion of the marketplace’s Facebook page.
There have been rumors circulating that the start-up is burning through cash — it raised $225 million before it even launched — and is said to be in the process of raising up to another $550 million by yearend. A spokeswoman said she’s “not going to confirm or deny” and that Jet is not commenting on financing right now.
When WWD interviewed Jet founder and chief executive officer Marc Lore at the company’s headquarters in Hoboken, N.J. in June, he was transparent about the company raising additional funding and at the time said he was “starting to talk to some people.”
He was vague about the amount he was looking to raise, and said it depended on the launch.
The marketplace made headlines last month when it changed course and dropped its annual membership fee. Landsman told WWD at the time that the company made the tweak after realizing that charging a commission fee to merchants proved to be a better source of revenue for the site.
The site passed the one-millionth registered member mark on Oct. 21 and for the entire month of October there were 410,000 new buyers on Jet.com.
“It puts us between Instagram and Spotify in terms of speed to get to the million mark from launch,” Landsman said.
She added that the marketplace drove gross merchandise volume of $33.2 million last month and $1.62 million in gross merchandise value on Oct. 19 alone, the highest sales day since launch. During the second week of November, Jet surpassed eight million stockkeeping units, or SKUs on-site, and now counts Brookstone, Dell, Panasonic, Lenovo, Yankee Candle, Asics and Jawbone as new marketplace partners.