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• The Associated Press reports that Amazon has launched a new product - Amazon Spark, described as " a new shopping-focused 'social network' aimed at getting hardcore Amazon users to spend even more money with the e-commerce giant." Available for the moment only to Amazon Prime members via Amazon's iPhone application, "Spark lets users share photo-heavy posts about their interests, ideally those leading to shopping ... Spark has drawn comparisons to both Pinterest and Instagram, but it's unclear if it will be a threat to either. Tech companies like Amazon, however, appear increasingly fond of cloning popular apps from fast-growing startups."


• In Danbury, Connecticut, the Daily Voice reports that the Stew Leonard's store there has begun testing home delivery, using Vroom Service Now, a local delivery provider.

According to the story, delivery is being provided for items from the store's Hoedown Grill, including hamburgers, cheeseburgers, lobster dinners, pulled pork sandwiches, sushi, cookies and salads.

The Daily Voice quotes store director Jake Tavello as saying that "this kind of service dates back to the family's beginnings when the Leonards first started as milk deliverymen 100 years ago and is a new chapter in the family’s fresh food business."

The story says that "delivery fees start at $3.99 with no up-charge added to the food. The service is available within a 10-mile radius of the store, meaning all or parts of Danbury, Brookfield, New Milford, Bethel, Newtown, New Fairfield, Ridgefield, Redding and Bridgewater." The service is not yet being offered at other Stew Leonard's stores.


• The Ann Arbor News reports that SpartanNash plans to roll out a new click-and-collect "pick up service called 'Fast Lane' at 25 Family Fare stores across Michigan ... The Byron Township-headquartered company plans to add the service to 50 stores in the company's nine-state footprint in 2018. The grocer operates 151 stores in total."

The story notes that "SpartanNash's announcement comes as more grocers are offering pick up or delivery service as online retailer Amazon continues to expand into the grocery segment. Last month, the online retail giant announced plans to acquire organic grocer Whole Foods Market in a deal valued at $13.7 billion."
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