Stop & Shop is piloting a grocery pickup locker inside a supermarket in Boston and could roll out the concept to more stores.
Quincy, Mass.-based Stop & Shop said Thursday that the new walk-up Locker Pickup unit — in the main entrance of its store at 1620 Tremont St. in Brigham Circle, a transit stop in Boston’s Mission Hill neighborhood — enables customers to skip the line by ordering online and picking up their groceries from a secure, temperature-controlled locker at a designated time.
Stop & Shop associates pick the products ordered and load them into the lockers, separating items by storage temperature to ensure food safety. The lockers are available in refrigerated, frozen and ambient (room) temperature settings, which are remotely monitored 24/7. Lockers are cleaned and sanitized between each use, Stop & Shop noted.
Customers pay a $2.95 fee for each Locker Pickup order. Alchohol, age-restricted and certain oversize items aren’t available for order through the service.
“Stop & Shop is dedicated to providing innovative grocery solutions for our customers, especially as we continue to navigate the pandemic,” according to Stacy Wiggins, vice president of e-commerce operations at Stop & Shop, part of Ahold Delhaize USA. “The Locker Pickup program is another way we’re working to accelerate our e-commerce offerings so that our customers can shop for and pickup their groceries at a time that’s most convenient for their schedule.”
To use the Locker Pickup service, customers go online to stopandshop.com and choose the Tremont Street Stop & Shop location. Within 15 minutes of their selected pickup time, they receive a texted code on their mobile device to scan or enter at the locker kiosk’s screen. The locker then automatically opens, allowing customers to retrieve their bagged groceries.
Stop & Shop noted that although its online grocery pickup sites typically offer drive-up service, the Locker Pickup program bring a more convenient option for stores where many customers arrive via foot or bike, such as in an urban location like Boston.
The Boston location is the first for Locker Pickup, and Stop & Shop said it will deploy lockers to additional stores if the pilot proves successful. To promote the service, through July 31, Stop & Shop is offering new users $10 off and 90 days of free pickup.
“We hope that by eliminating the need to wait in line or go in-store, they’ll get even more time back into their day,” Wiggins stated.
Overall, Stop & Shop operates more than 400 supermarkets in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey.
Store pickup is a linchpin of Ahold Delhaize USA’s e-commerce strategy, which includes a cumulative 100% increase in online capacity in 2020-21. The company now reaches about 90% of households in its East Coast market with click-and-collect and home delivery service. Plans call for nearly 1,400 pickup sites by 2021, double the number of locations at the start of last year.