February 18, 2014
Square has announced a new partnership with Whole Foods, that will bring its payment technology to the upscale grocery store. Whole Foods will use iPads mounted in the Square Stand holder at the specialty food and beverage counters that line the stores’ walls. Customers will have the option to pay for their orders by card, or with payment credentials saved in the Square Wallet app on their smartphones. This is Square’s biggest deal since its partnership with Starbucks in 2012.
Seven Whole Foods stores are already using the Square software, and it is unclear how many stores will be using the payment system in the upcoming months. It seems that these stores will test the system before rolling out to all 350+ Whole Foods stores. This marks the biggest deal for Square since partnering with Starbucks, putting Square in over 7,000 Starbucks locations.
According to Recode, “On the surface, the deal gives Square what many industry observers had expected the company to land more of following the Starbucks deal: Another high-volume, big-name customer as it positions itself for a possible IPO or acquisition.”
The deal also offers good marketing for the Square Stand, especially since the company has reduced the price by 67 percent since introducing the product.
It is expected that the Square checkout system will help reduce congestion of Whole Foods’ main checkout lines, but it is unclear why the luxury grocery store chose Square over its competitors.