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• Minnesota-based Lunds & Byerlys announced yesterday what it called the launch of its "new eCommerce and digital customer engagement program. The first six stores are now live at their Lunds & Byerlys Kitchen, Ridgedale, Chanhassen, Maple Grove, France Avenue Edina and Burnsville locations, with the subsequent stores to be rolled out this month." The new eCommerce program is said to offer "1 to 1 personalization across the entire shopping experience, from homepage to catalogue to search to product recommendations. Each step of the shopping journey will display the most relevant items for each shopper based on their individual purchase history and ongoing transactions."

The Lunds & Byerlys e-commerce solutions are powered by Unata.

TechCrunch reports that "Amazon’s logistics arm is taking a big step forward by leasing a fleet of Boeing 767s that will ship packages to customers in North America. Air Transport Services Group (ATSG), an air cargo transportation provider, said that Amazon has agreed to lease 20 of its planes for five to seven years."

The leases build on reports that Amazon plans to take more control of the fulfillment process, even competing with FedEx, UPS and the US Postal Service where and when it can.
KC's View:
I think the confluence of these stories is important.

First, there's the Lunds & Byerlys move into e-commerce, which is important because of what it represents. This is one of the best grocers in the country, and one that could not be faulted for feeling that its entire value proposition is the outstanding stores that it operates. But the progressive management there clearly understands that the market is moving, and if they are going to be relevant to an evolving shopper base with different needs and desires, it has to embrace e-commerce. And I would expect them to only get better.

Part of the reason for this is what Amazon is doing ... expanding its footprint, getting more aggressive in grocery and fresh, and taking control of the fulfillment process when and where it can as it keeps pushing the boundaries of its own ecosystem.

Compete, or die. That's the lesson.