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In Minnesota, the Pioneer Press reports that Lund Food Holdings has dropped the $4.95 store pickup fee that used to be charged to customers who ordered online and then picked up their groceries at one of the company’s Lunds or Byerly’s stores in the Twin Cities area.

"Right now we're at that time of year when people are busy and turn to online shopping to save time," said Aaron Sorenson, a spokesman for the retailer. "We'd like them to turn to our service."

However, the company did not eliminate the $9.95 fee for grocery orders that it is delivering to people’s homes or offices.

The Pioneer Press notes that while Sorenson says there is no connection, it was just days ago that Coborn’s Inc. relaunched the SimonDelivers online grocery service under the CobornsDelivers name – and it may be that Lunds wants to keep that retailer from getting a secure foothold.

KC's View:
Doesn’t matter what the reason is. This is a smart move by Lunds, and a step that is in line with a long-stated belief around here – that eliminating extra charges such as those for pickup will be standard operating procedure for food retailers that will have to absorb such fees into the cost of doing business. It is what consumers are going to expect…after all, they can get free delivery from companies such as Amazon and Apple, and they don’t remember a world where things were any different.

The food industry has to meet those expectations, not ignore them, if it is to be relevant to the next generation of customers that is going to be here any minute.