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The Boston Business Journal reports that Roche Bros., which generally has served the city's suburbs with e-grocery ordering and delivery, is expanding to a number of Boston neighborhoods - including Beacon Hill, the North End, Fenway, the Back Bay, the South End and South Boston - with the possibility of expanding even more if consumer response warrants.

Roche has 19 stores, but only one within the city limits.

According to the story, "This new service is being launched in anticipation of Roche’s own brick-and-mortar foothold in the downtown - a Roche store that will open next year in the redevelopment of the Filene’s block at Washington and Summer streets. This new delivery option will help Roche build customer awareness of its brand before the Downtown Crossing store opens, especially for recent transplants and college graduates who have never stepped foot in a Roche market. The orders will still be filled at a Roche store, as they are for other communities."

And, the story says, "It’s also a way for Roche to strike back at its biggest competitor in the online ordering space —Stop & Shop affiliate Peapod. Roche was also an upstart in the battle against Peapod back in 2005 when Roche first rolled out its delivery service."
KC's View:
This makes sense for a ton of reasons … Roche can't allow itself to be in a position where it is only playing defense. It has to play offense, because it isn't just about Peapod … it also is about Amazon and all the other companies that want to get into the e-grocery act.

Full disclosure: Roche Bros' e-grocery service is powered by MyWebGrocer, which is a longtime and valued MNB sponsor.