If you have schlepped through any of the major big box stores, you know that the experience isn’t typically enjoyable. Terrible fluorescent lighting, bad music, hordes of hurried people seemingly aiming to occupy the same spot you are in at any given time. These are only some of the many down sides of visiting the big box nightmares. But it turns out even the big box companies themselves realize people don’t want to visit, and are aiming to supply their demand for grocery delivery as soon as possible. Heather Haddon writes:
Big food retailers are expanding grocery delivery services, hoping to dissuade customers from defecting to online rivals.
Grocery heavyweights including Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Kroger Co. and Meijer, Inc. are broadening delivery areas across the country and the ways in which customers get their groceries. Meijer said Thursday that it will start delivering groceries later this month in the six Midwestern states—Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin—where its 230 stores are located.
“This is something our customer is really looking for,” Meijer Chief Executive Rick Keyes said of the partnership with Shipt, an online service that employs personal shoppers to choose and deliver groceries to consumers. “They are time-starved.”
A fifth of shoppers bought groceries online last year, up from 16% in 2015, according to a recent Nielsen survey for the National Grocers Association. More than half of those online shoppers said they used Amazon’s Prime delivery service for groceries, compared with just 22% at the online offerings of traditional grocers.
“These guys need to have a counterstrategy to hold on to customer volume,” said Tom Furphy, an e-commerce consultant who helped start Amazon.com’s fast-growing grocery subscription service.
Read more here.