SOURCE: Square

February 11, 2014 09:00 ET

Square and Whole Foods Market® Partner to Create Faster, Easier Payment and Checkout Experiences

Companies' Shared Commitment to Customer Experience Will Drive New Technological Retail Innovations

AUSTIN, TX and SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - Feb 11, 2014) - 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.

About Square, Inc.
Square is making commerce easy for everyone. Whether a business needs to accept credit cards, manage a full point of sale system, or sell online, Square offers simple and affordable tools so businesses of all sizes can start, run, and grow. The company began with a free credit card reader for the iPhone, iPad, and Android devices, allowing businesses to accept credit cards anywhere, anytime, for one low, transparent rate. Square now offers a full suite of hardware and software tools including Square Register, Square Stand, Square Market, Square Wallet, and Square Cash. Founded in 2009, and headquartered in San Francisco, Square is currently available in the United States, Canada, and Japan.

About Whole Foods Market®
Founded in 1978 in Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market (wholefoodsmarket.com) (NASDAQ: WFM), is the leading natural and organic food retailer. As America's first national certified organic grocer, Whole Foods Market was named "America's Healthiest Grocery Store" by Health magazine. The company's motto, "Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet"™ captures its mission to ensure customer satisfaction and health, Team Member excellence and happiness, enhanced shareholder value, community support and environmental improvement. Thanks to the company's more than 80,000 Team Members, Whole Foods Market has been ranked as one of the "100 Best Companies to Work For" in America by FORTUNE magazine for 17th consecutive years. In fiscal year 2013, the company had sales of approximately $13 billion and currently has more than 370 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

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