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Fresh Direct, the NYC-based pure-play e-grocer, said this week that it is expanding its service into 123 new zip codes in Rockland County, NY ... Pennsylvania ... New Jersey ... and, for the first time, into Delaware.

Jason Ackerman, FreshDirect Co-Founder and CEO, said in a prepared statement that the expansion was based on demand, and that the company already has "thousands of residents in our new expansion areas pre-registered to be future customers."

Meanwhile, Crain's New York Business reports that "FreshDirect has entered into a venture with Denihan Hospitality Group, which owns and manages 14 properties, including five Affinia hotels in Manhattan. Most of Affinia's rooms come with kitchens. Guests of the Affinia properties will be able to stock their refrigerators with microwaveable gourmet meals, snacks, fruit and other items from FreshDirect upon their arrival."

"It's a smart way to offer room service," Lisa Zandee, senior vice president of brand management for Affinia Hotels, tells CNYB. "It wasn't like we had to budget for this, because FreshDirect already had the business model."

This synchs up with a broader trend in the hotel business, according to the story: "The initiative comes on the heels of a decision by the Hilton New York, the largest hotel in the city, to eliminate room service altogether starting this month, because the amenity cost the property too much money. Other hotels are downscaling room service, offering delivery of food in paper bags."
KC's View:
Love the hotel idea ... it has a kind of ingenuity to it, as long as the hotel room has the space to put stuff that's been ordered.

And I think it is very smart for FreshDirect to continue expanding ... after all, the competitive pressures in e-grocery are only going to get greater, and it needs to lock in as much business as it can. Except, of course, there's no such thing as "locked in."