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The Tampa Bay Business Examiner reports that Publix executives have found that the company’s new online shopping program, combined with curbside pickup of groceries at designated stores, has been better received than even they expected.

According to the story, “The curbside pilot program began in September.  Execs at Publix didn’t need the entire year to figure out the new service is quite popular as customers drove much further than expected just to come to the store that offered the service ... Publix officials say they were quite surprised at some of the shopping data they collected from the test so far.  It turned out that soccer moms are not the only people using the service.  Officials have found that it’s been popular with those who are handicapped as well as those on a tight budget and people are flocking to the stores from miles away to enjoy the convenience.”

Full disclosure: The Publix e-grocery initiative is powered by MyWebGrocer, which is a longtime and valued MNB sponsor.
KC's View:
The future of grocery shopping is, as I’ve said here many times before, tied up in an integrated model that offers customers what they want, when they want it, how they want it, where they want it, at a price they think is appropriate. This means offering online shopping as an alternative; not everybody will want it or use it, but not to offer it is to keep one’s eyes closed to the needs and desires of the next generation of shoppers, and to be non-competitive in a segment that is increasingly powerful.