Publix goes chainwide with Instacart Meals ‘digital deli’
Publix Super Markets and Instacart have rolled out the online grocery provider’s Instacart Meals service chainwide, creating a “digital deli counter” with same-day delivery.
Instacart unveiled the Instacart Meals offering in January with a Publix pilot of the new capability in Orlando, Fla., focusing on made-to-order sub sandwiches — known as “Pub Subs” — in the deli department. The following weeks saw the service launch at Publix stores across Florida, and this month Instacart said the digital deli was available at nearly all of the retailer’s 1,251 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.
Rouses Markets to pilot drone delivery of groceries
This fall, regional supermarket chain Rouses Markets plans to test an unmanned grocery delivery service using airborne drones.
Rouses has partnered with Boston-based Deuce Drone to conduct the pilot with Deuce’s Aerial Drone Delivery Interface System (ADDIS) at the Southern grocer’s store on Airport Boulevard in Mobile, Ala.
“Drone delivery offers the fastest, safest delivery store to door,” said CEO Donny Rouse. “We should be able to get groceries to customers in 30 minutes, or even less. Plus it’s more cost-efficient, meaning we can save customers time and money.”
Target launches enhanced online grocery pickup
Target Corp. has kicked off online pickup service for fresh and frozen grocery items at more than 400 stores in 10 states.
Minneapolis-based Target said select stores in Illinois, Ohio, Colorado, Utah, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky and Kansas now offer the enhanced Drive Up and Order Pickup service, which allows customers to shop 750 items across produce, dairy, bakery, meat and frozen categories at Target.com or via the Target mobile app and pick them up at a store within a few hours.
New Giant Food online platform integrates services
Giant Food of Landover
At a time when demand for online grocery is at an all-time high, Giant Food of Landover, Md., is aiming to make it easier than ever for customers to access a robust shopping experience in one place, with personalized shopping, rewards program benefits, weekly circular and coupons as well as pharmacy, and nutrition and wellness content offerings.
The operator of 163 supermarkets in the Washington, D.C., area launched a new integrated e-commerce shopping experience for customers available on the new Giantfood.com website and Giant Food mobile app. The integrated platform joins together the prior Peapod.com and Giantfood.com sites to create a single site on Giantfood.com.
Sobeys begins Voilà online grocery delivery in Toronto
Canadian food and drug retailer Sobeys launched its Voilà online grocery delivery platform in the greater Toronto area.
Dubbed Voilà by Sobeys, the home delivery service is available now to customers in Vaughan, Ontario, where the Stellarton, Nova Scotia-based grocer has an Ocado-powered automated warehouse. Plans call for Voilà to be rolled out across greater Toronto in the coming weeks, Sobeys said.
Kroger looks to ride digital tailwind
The Kroger Co.
Executives at The Kroger Co. said a 92% jump in first-quarter digital sales shows that the supermarket giant’s e-commerce investments are bearing fruit.
Overall sales for the quarter ended May 23 climbed 11.5% to $41.55 billion, with identical sales excluding fuel surging 19%. In a conference call with analysts on Thursday, chairman and CEO Rodney McMullen estimated that digital sales accounted for 6.5% to 7% of Kroger’s total sales in the period.
Aldi to roll out curbside pickup to nearly 600 stores
After a pilot in selected markets, hard discount grocer Aldi plans to launch Curbside Grocery Pickup service at almost 600 stores.
Aldi aims to expand the click-and-collect service to stores in 35 states by the end of July. Customers will place their orders via Aldi’s Instacart page or mobile app, and Aldi store associates will pick and pack the groceries and bring them out to customers’ vehicles.
Sam’s Club goes chainwide with curbside pickup
Sam’s Club rolled out curbside pickup service to all 597 of its warehouse clubs this past June. The Walmart wholesale club chain said that the national launch of curbside pickup came after a 16-store pilot drew a strong response from consumer and business-owner members.
Food Lion links loyalty program to online grocery services
Food Lion now enables customers to use digital coupons and redeem Shop & Earn MVP rewards when ordering online for store pickup or home delivery.
The new services give Food Lion customers more ways to save through its online grocery services, the Salisbury, N.C.-based chain said. Customers see their accumulated Shop & Earn rewards on the checkout screen, as well as the “clipped” digital coupons applied to their order.
How Imperfect Foods adapted to doubled demand during coronavirus
Thanks to its ability to quickly scale, Imperfect Foods has seen immense growth throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Since January, the San Francisco-based food subscription service says that its weekly order volumes have doubled and they are “on track” to save more than 200 million pounds of food from going to waste in 2020.
Ed O’Malley, Imperfect Foods’ vice president of merchandising, says that the company — originally launched as Imperfect Produce in August 2015 — has seen “more than a 40% growth in our active user base.”
Walmart to bring two-hour Express Delivery to 2,000 stores
Following a recent pilot program, Walmart is rolling out Express Delivery, a new online service offering home delivery of a wide range of groceries and other products from the store in less than two hours.
Walmart has been testing Express Delivery at 100 stores since mid-April, accelerating development of the service because of the coronavirus pandemic. Plans called for the fee-based service to reach nearly 1,000 stores in early May and then almost 2,000 stores in the ensuing weeks.
Instacart aims to add 250,000 more personal shoppers
Instacart kicked off another big round of hiring in April, with plans to add 250,000 more full-service shoppers over the spring and summer to help meet soaring demand for online grocery delivery amid the pandemic.
The San Francisco-based company also added coronavirus safety measures and extending its COVID-19 paid-leave and bonus pay policies for personal shoppers.
Amazon leads in online grocery shopper satisfaction
Amazon leads in customer satisfaction among online grocery shoppers, while traditional supermarkets have seen the biggest gain in online shopping use versus a year ago, according to the 2020 U.S. Online & In-Store Grocery Shopping Study from Retail Feedback Group (RFG).
On a scale of 1 to 5, Amazon scored 4.47 in online grocery customer satisfaction, putting the e-tail giant just ahead of Walmart at 4.38, reported RFG, which polled 2,000 grocery shoppers (split evenly between online and in-store visitors) in late April to early May. Supermarkets and food stores rated at 4.33 for their online shopping experience, below the overall satisfaction score of 4.38. Instacart-fulfilled service earned a score of 4.35.