Grocery chain Meijer pilots a curbside pickup program
April 22, 2015 12:48 PM
Grocery chain Meijer will launch a curbside pickup program in an effort to make grocery shopping more convenient for customers.
Called Meijer Curbside, the pilot program is available at only one Meijer location in Grand Rapids, Mich. Shoppers select online from more than 23,000 products including produce, dairy, cleaning supplies and other items. Shoppers can then choose a date and time to pick up orders, and Meijer employees will deliver them to their car outside the store.
Meijer, No. 335 in the Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500 Guide, offers the service for free as part of the pilot, although it does say on its website that eventually there will be a $5 surcharge. The company has plans to potentially expand the program to other markets in the Midwest this year. Top500Guide.com data shows a steady increase in e-commerce sales for Meijer, climbing 11.9% year over year from an Internet Retailer-estimated $53.7 million in 2013 to $60.1 million in 2014. Meijer representatives did not return a request for comment on the Meijer Curbside program.
Meijer becomes the latest retailer to test curb service as grocery retailers expand e-commerce efforts. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., No. 3 in the Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500, began testing a similar program in January 2014 in Denver. The program was so successful the retailer expanded it to stores in Phoenix and Huntsville, Ala., in February of this year.
While Meijer at some point plans to charge consumers to use curbside pickup, Wal-Mart offers the service for free.
Another major grocery chain, Publix, tried a similar program in 2010. Called Publix Curbside, the retailer charged shoppers $7.99 to pick up online orders from two stores, one in Atlanta and another in Tampa. The chain pulled the plug on the program in 2012, citing a lack of customer interest.