Amazon channeling Kmart with Treasure Truck

Mike Troy
Editorial Director
Mike Troy
The Tresure Truck fleet now numbers 100 and operates in 25 cities.

Amazon’s fleet of promotional vehicles known as Treasure Trucks has expanded to bring daily deals residents of Charlotte, Cincinnati, Columbus and Las Vegas.

The program functions like a mobile Blue Light Special, a merchandising initiative Kmart devised in which stores would identify promoted items by placing a cart topped with a blue light where the featured item was located and then using the store’s intercom system to broadcast, “attention Kmart shoppers.” The premise of the Treasure Truck program is identical to Kmart’s concept except the alerts occur via text message and merchandise is identified by specially marked trucks and vans or in-store kiosks. Even the timeless promotional tactic of limited quantities is shared by both programs.

Despite expansion, a novelty for now

Launched two years ago, the Treasure Truck program has so far functioned as more of a unique shopper engagement mechanism that major sales driver. In un-Amazon like fashion, there are only 100 vehicles operating in 25 cities, but where it does operate engagement is strong, based on data Amazon supplied. For example, 75% of those who subscribe to the service check out new offers within 15 minutes of receiving an offer text. Inventory availability has tripled and the number of pick up locations per offer has doubled with vehicles on the road an average of five days each week. The highest volume cities are Seattle, Los Angeles and Phoenix, but the most engaged shoppers who visit the Treasure Truck more than once a week, live in Chicago, San Antonio and Sacramento.

Sometimes the treasure isn’t on a truck at all. Amazon recently launched vans and also gives customers the option of picking up merchandise at select Amazon Books, Amazon Go and Whole Foods Market stores.


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