ECOMMERCE

Online giant expands fulfillment operations in two states

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Amazon continues to bolster its distribution fleet.

The online giant will be adding a new 1 million-sq.-ft. fulfillment center in Monroe, Ohio — its fourth warehouse in The Buckeye State. Amazon will hire 1,000 associates to manage the picking, packing and shipping larger customer items, such as sports equipment, gardening tools, and pet food.

Amazon already operates fulfillment centers in the cities of Etna and Obetz, and is preparing for the opening of a new facility in North Randall.

Amazon is also preparing to open its third fulfillment center in Oregon. The new building, which will also be 1 million-sq.-ft., will reside in Portland.

Similar to the building in Monroe, Ohio, this depot will also pick, pack and ship sports equipment, gardening tools, and pet food. It will also create 1,000 new jobs.

Oregon already features a sortation center in Hillsboro, and a Prime Now hub in Portland. It is also preparing for the opening of two fulfillment centers in Troutdale and Salem.

“Our quick growth in the Beaver state is our drive to continue growing and innovating on behalf of customers,” said Sanjay Shah, Amazon’s VP of North America customer fulfillment. “Fulfillment centers in the state will increase speed of delivery, expand inventory selection, and provide great Prime membership benefits. We are excited to better serve customers, and create 3,500 full-time jobs in Oregon.”

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ECOMMERCE

Report: Home goods retailer to accept digital wallet, Venmo

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

A new payment option will help Williams-Sonoma tap a new customer segment.

The home goods retailer will soon accept the peer-to-peer money-transferring service Venmo for bridal registry purchases. The digital wallet lets users make digital payments — or split payments with other users, according to ReCode.

The program, which will be a new service within Williams-Sonoma’s omnichannel strategy, will enable the home goods retailer to appeal to a new, more digitally savvy customer base. Williams-Sonoma will pay Venmo a processing fee to offer the service, the report said.

The program will be launched across all of Williams-Sonoma’s properties early next year.

To watch Venmo’s COO Mike Vaughan discuss the program, which was presented at Recode’s recent Code Commerce event in New York City, click here.

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FINANCE

Love’s Travel Stops to acquire competitor

BY Marianne Wilson

Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores is expanding its footprint.

The chain has reached an agreement to purchase Speedco, a national network of trucking-focused service locations from Bridgestone Americas.

Speedco has 52 locations. The acquisition will bring the number of Love’s operated tire service and lube facilities to 323. Terms of the deal, subject to regulatory approval, were not disclosed.

“Speedco is a strong commercial retail service business, and Love’s is the right partner to build on Speedco’s success and ensure a great future for Speedco employees,” said Bill Thompson, COO, Bridgestone Americas.

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