Giant Food has expanded its online assortment beyond grocery with the launch of the Ship2Me digital marketplace on GiantFood.com.
Landover, Md.-based Giant said Tuesday that the “endless aisle” Ship2Me service will offer “tens of thousands of new items” not traditionally found in supermarkets, including such product categories as health and beauty care, home decor, seasonal items, kitchen and dining, outdoor, pet care and premium pantry items.
Giant didn’t specify the SKU count for the Ship2Me launch but said the number of vendors and products available through the service will continue to expand over the coming months. Parent company Ahold Delhaize reported during its Investor Day 2021 event last month that the direct-ship service initially would offer another 40,000 general merchandise and food items. The global food retailer disclosed plans for an endless aisle offering in the United States late last year and said the selection could grow to 80,000 to 100,000 items.
“Online grocery demand continues to grow, and we are constantly working to increase our capabilities and offerings to best serve the communities we operate in,” Giant Food President Ira Kress said in a statement. “We are thrilled to be the first brand under the Ahold Delhaize USA family to be launching Ship2Me and bringing this innovative and expansive marketplace to our customers.”
According to Ahold Delhaize USA CEO Kevin Holt, Ship2Me will “ultimately be our local marketplace” for the company’s supermarket brands, which also include Stop & Shop, Giant/Martin’s, Food Lion and Hannaford.
“The intention behind that is not only to offer kind of the complementary goods through purveyors to our customers on the local level, but also over time to be able to extend into services, partnerships with local farmers, and those kinds of things that will allow us to continue to hyper-focus on that local ecosystem,” Holt said in a late November interview. “We haven’t totally defined all the possibilities of it yet, but right now I would say that what we looking at is an extension of assortments — whether it’s goods, baby, pet, things like that — and offer products that we wouldn’t carry in a full-line store,” he added. “It would also be the ability for us to feature minority suppliers, local growers, etc., the kinds of things that are important to people in their community.”
Customers in Giant’s Mid-Atlantic market area can browse products on Ship2Me at GiantFood.com/Ship2Me and add items from the marketplace to their cart alongside Giant Pickup or Giant Delivers grocery orders, which the retailer noted provides seamless checkout. Shoppers can filter through categories within the integrated, one-stop experience to view items offered by Giant and Ship2Me. Items purchased via Ship2Me carry no order minimum and are shipped directly to customers, with ground shipping offered free for all orders. Giant Flexible Rewards customers can also earn loyalty points on Ship2Me purchases and redeem them for grocery savings at Giant stores or gas savings via the Giant Fuel Rewards program.
Ship2Me’s debut comes as Giant’s online business has “exploded” over the past 12 months, with more than 3 million online orders fulfilled, the retailer said.
“We are always looking for ways to give time back to our customers and make our services more convenient and accessible,” commented Gregg Dorazio, director of e-commerce at Giant Food. “The introduction of Ship2Me allows Giant to expand its assortment within traditional and nontraditional grocery categories, making it the most seamless one-stop shop for our customers.”
Overall, Giant operates 164 supermarkets in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia, including 152 pharmacies, 83 PNC Banks and 26 Starbucks outlets. The grocer also operates 158 Giant Pickup sites, and its Giant Delivers service is available across its market area.