Wheels Up is launching a two-tiered e-commerce site: a) for potential customers who want to purchase their apparel (most notably the Wheels Up baseball hats) and b) apparel available for purchase exclusively by members. Currently Wheels Up boasts 2,500 moneyed members. Another initiative from Wheels Up is its upcoming partnership with Barneys New York, as a way of offering special benefits to its members.
Then there is Jet.com which was established on a desire to challenge Amazon’s hold on the global e-commerce hold. In view of this, it is currently engaging in talks with Walmart to buy it out. Whether this transpires or not, the fact that talks are happening is indicative of the challenges of the US’s e-commerce market (currently valued at $350 billion), much of which is owned by Amazon. Competitors have tried to take on the Amazon giant until now but none have as yet succeeded. Maybe this venture – should it happen – will be the one to shake it once and for all.
Indeed, one current example of Amazon’s online retail domination is the ‘back to school supplies.’ Not only is this eking out traditional department and discount store chains but also other e-commerce sites. Now, the actual stores are trying to compete with Amazon, by, according to a recent article in the New York Post by Catherine Curan, “converting their brands into omnichannel retailers that make it easy for shoppers to buy online, in-store or from a mobile device — and move seamlessly among all three options.” As Walmart’s CFO, Brett Biggs pointed out, “Growth … looks different today… It’s still about comp sales and … building stores. But now it’s about mobile e-commerce … fulfillment capabilities … and developing new services.”