retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Ahold-owned Peapod announced this week that it is teaming with Titan, the largest transit advertising firm in North America, to install virtual supermarkets at Philadelphia area train stations, allowing people to use their smart phones and a Peapod application to scan QR codes and purchase products that can be delivered to their homes or offices.

Mike Brennan, COO, Peapod says, "We chose Philadelphia to launch this initiative because it's a new and exciting market for us. Titan had the most compelling media property in the city and it just made sense for us to let commuters know about our free, convenient application."

"It's taking the grocery store and literally putting it on the train platform," said Jeff Randazzo, executive vice president, Titan general manager. "Combining our media formats with a compelling call to action like Peapod's grocery app is a great use of our medium. Who wouldn't want to put commuting time to good use by grocery shopping?"

Titan estimates that Philadelphians spend more than two-and-a-half hours a week commuting.

The concept is similar to one that Tesco originated in the Seoul, South Korea, subway system and now is expanding, and that Sears, Kmart, Ocado and even Procter & Gamble have been testing.
KC's View:
I think I’ve made my position on this concept clear - it is a smart move for Ahold / Peapod, and I think we’re going to see a lot more of it. Look for Walmart to test the concept in some of its small stores, using QR codes and virtual displays to allow people to access the selection normally only available in its much larger supercenters.

And I think you’ll see Amazon moving in this direction as well; for my money, it makes a lot more sense for Amazon than opening bricks-and-mortar stores, which is also reportedly on its agenda. (Then again, Jeff Bezos has a better track record and bigger bank account than I do ... so what do I know?)

Competitors should take note...especially since Titan has a presence in, among other places, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, New Jersey, Dallas, Seattle, Charlotte and Minneapolis/St. Paul.