retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Ahold Delhaize-owned Stop & Shop announced that it now is offering same-day pickup of groceries - ordered through its Peapod e-commerce service - at 20 of its stores in Massachusetts (10 stores), Rhode Island (8) and one each in Connecticut and New York.

The company says that pickup will be available in as little as four hours from the time an order is placed, and that the service costs $2.95 per order.

The Boston Globe writes that “a Stop & Shop worker will bring the items out and put them in the customer’s car, according to the release. Each of the stores will have four to six parking spaces designated for pick-up.”

The Globe story also quotes Stop & Shop President Mark McGowan as saying, “As we continue to improve the omnichannel experience for our customers, we plan to roll out 175 of these ‘click-and-collect’ locations by the end of the year … We’re excited to offer our customers the convenience of shopping online for the all the products available at their local store, which they can now pick-up in just a few hours.”
KC's View:
I have three different reactions to this announcement.

First, I think the more that Ahold Delhaize-owned chains can integrate Peapod to a greater extent into their everyday operations and weaponize the service as a way to compete in the digital realm, the better.

Second, I also have to point out that Stop & Shop is announcing same-day pickup, in as little as four orders after an order is placed, in the same week as Amazon announced that it’ll be shortly be using drones for same-day delivery and Walmart plans to have its employees actually putting groceries in the refrigerators of smart-technology-enabled homes in four cities. It just sounds, on the face of it, that Amazon and Walmart (and others) are setting the innovation bar very high, and Ahold Delhaize-owned stores may have to learn to jump higher in order to keep up. (Pickup sounds good, but we’ll shortly be at the point where customers will be ordering from their cars and will want to have their orders waiting for them in 14 minutes not four hours.)

Third … it is entirely possible that in the short term, Stop & Shop is offering a service that is going to be highly relevant to today’s customers … and that it can worry about drones and in-home refrigerator deliveries tomorrow or next week.