Amazon continues a store play and revs up holiday messaging

November 13, 2015 02:10 PM Inc. this week continued to set up for holiday season sales, announcing distribution agreements and new order pickup options for consumers. It also began marketing its discounts for Black Friday.

Amazon news for the week ended Nov. 13:

Echo distribution: Consumers will be able to buy Amazon’s voice-activated personal assistant device Echo in more than 3,000 physical stores this holiday season. Certain locations of The Home Depot, Sears, Brookstone and several other retailers will carry it. Staples has carried it in some stores for several months and the company says it has been well-received. Home Depot Inc. says offering Echo complements other home automation products it sells. Amazon has had a fitful relationship selling its devices at retail locations. Target Corp. ceased selling Amazon’s Kindle and e-readers and tablets in spring 2012, shortly after it said it wanted to stem the flow of consumers comparison shopping online while in its store.

A new pickup store: Amazon opened an Amazon-operated pickup location in Isla Vista, Calif., this week. Near the University of California, Santa Barbara, it is the fourth such location near a university and the second in the California college system. Amazon Student and Amazon Prime members get free same-day delivery to the store if orders are placed by noon. The store is open daily from 9 a.m.-9 p.m.

Black Friday marketing: Amazon began using Black Friday messaging in its email marketing messages this week, sending at least three promotional emails that included the phrase “Black Friday” in the subject line, including “Deals are Here: Countdown to Black Friday.”

Fast food: Prime customers in select Los Angeles ZIP codes can order from area restaurants through the Prime Now mobile app and get food delivered in an hour or less. Amazon began testing the service as part of Prime Now in its Seattle hometown in September and rolled out the service to the Portland, Ore., area last month.

Prime Pantry expands again: Amazon opened Prime Pantry to Prime members in the United Kingdom this week. Amazon began offering Prime Pantry to consumers in Germany and Austria last month. Pantry launched in the United States in April 2014 and lets consumers order non-perishable grocery goods for home delivery. is No. 1 in the Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500 Guide.





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