Square and Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFM) are partnering to make shopping faster and more convenient with new on-the-go purchasing options.
The two companies will offer new payment and checkout features that allow customers to make purchases at food venues within select Whole Foods Market stores. This is Square's first partnership with a national grocer.
These in-store venues -- including sandwich counters, juice and coffee bars, pizzerias, and beer and wine bars -- will use Square Register and Square Stand, Square's suite of simple and affordable software and hardware tools for businesses. By bridging the digital and in-store retail spaces at these venues, Whole Foods Market shoppers can skip the main checkout lines, reducing wait times for all customers.
Today, seven Whole Foods Market venues already use Square Stand, including stores in Austin, New York City, Florida and the San Francisco Bay Area.
"Together with Square, we'll deliver options to expedite checkouts, and we look forward to developing new concepts to further simplify and improve grocery shopping," said Walter Robb, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market. "Square's forward-thinking vision and technology makes them an ideal partner to create a convenient, responsive experience for our customers."
At select venues, Whole Foods Market will offer customers the option to use their mobile device to pay using Square Wallet, Square's payer application, thereby avoiding the traditional front-end checkout lines. Square Wallet also enables customers to browse venue items and prices, discover discounts and track purchases.
"Whole Foods Market and Square share a focus on supporting local sellers and creating amazing shopping experiences," said Jack Dorsey, co-founder and CEO of Square. "With Square, Whole Foods Market will enable commerce in more parts of their stores with easy, accessible tools that showcase the best of what's achievable in the service of retailers and customers."
Several Whole Foods Market locations will serve as "lab stores," testing additional innovations designed to enhance customer service and cater to the changing needs of shoppers. Whole Foods Market, a leader in connecting with customers through social media and responding to shopper needs in real time, sees Square as a great fit for the retailer's digital-savvy customer base. Across Whole Foods Market's more than 700 social media channels, the brand posts roughly 1,000 messages per day, reaching more than 7 million followers on Facebook and Twitter combined.