DEDICATED FULFILLMENT CENTER OPENS AT PEAPOD

SKOKIE, Ill. -- In an effort to improve order selection and distribution efficiencies and to expand its customer base, Peapod here has opened its first dedicated fulfillment center for consumer-direct orders, in Long Island, New York.The 15,000-square-foot fulfillment center can hold nearly 8,000 products including frozen, dry grocery and dairy categories, according to Andrew Parkinson, president

SKOKIE, Ill. -- In an effort to improve order selection and distribution efficiencies and to expand its customer base, Peapod here has opened its first dedicated fulfillment center for consumer-direct orders, in Long Island, New York.

The 15,000-square-foot fulfillment center can hold nearly 8,000 products including frozen, dry grocery and dairy categories, according to Andrew Parkinson, president of Peapod. Customer orders are delivered by Peapod's vehicle fleet of 15-foot box trucks.

The facility, which opened Dec. 7, services a delivery area in an approximate 15-mile radius of its location in New Hyde Park, N.Y., encompassing some of the most heavily populated suburbs of New York City.

The Internet grocery company's newest retail partner, Edwards Super Food Stores, part of Ahold USA's Giant Food Stores division, based in Carlisle, Pa., is supplying products for Peapod's new facility.

In the seven metropolitan markets where Peapod offers consumer-direct services with retailer partners, the company fulfills orders by picking product from supermarket shelves. "We can pick three to five times faster [at the fulfillment center]," compared with in-store picking, said Parkinson.

A second, 35,000-square-foot fulfillment center is set to open by January 1999 in Chicago. Peapod has an option to expand the facility to 70,000 square feet. As reported earlier in SN, a third Peapod fulfillment center is reportedly scheduled to open in San Francisco in the first quarter of 1999.