Executive Briefings

Grocery Heavyweights Expand Delivery Services

Big food retailers are expanding grocery delivery services, hoping to dissuade customers from defecting to online rivals.

Grocery heavyweights including Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Kroger Co. and Meijer, Inc. are broadening delivery areas across the country and the ways in which customers get their groceries. Meijer said Thursday that it will start delivering groceries later this month in the six Midwestern states - Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin - where its 230 stores are located.

"This is something our customer is really looking for," Meijer Chief Executive Rick Keyes said of the partnership with Shipt, an online service that employs personal shoppers to choose and deliver groceries to consumers. "They are time-starved."

A fifth of shoppers bought groceries online last year, up from 16 percent in 2015, according to a recent Nielsen survey for the National Grocers Association. More than half of those online shoppers said they used Amazon's Prime delivery service for groceries, compared with just 22 percent at the online offerings of traditional grocers.

"These guys need to have a counter strategy to hold on to customer volume," said Tom Furphy, an e-commerce consultant who helped start Amazon.com's fast-growing grocery subscription service.

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Grocery heavyweights including Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Kroger Co. and Meijer, Inc. are broadening delivery areas across the country and the ways in which customers get their groceries. Meijer said Thursday that it will start delivering groceries later this month in the six Midwestern states - Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin - where its 230 stores are located.

"This is something our customer is really looking for," Meijer Chief Executive Rick Keyes said of the partnership with Shipt, an online service that employs personal shoppers to choose and deliver groceries to consumers. "They are time-starved."

A fifth of shoppers bought groceries online last year, up from 16 percent in 2015, according to a recent Nielsen survey for the National Grocers Association. More than half of those online shoppers said they used Amazon's Prime delivery service for groceries, compared with just 22 percent at the online offerings of traditional grocers.

"These guys need to have a counter strategy to hold on to customer volume," said Tom Furphy, an e-commerce consultant who helped start Amazon.com's fast-growing grocery subscription service.

Read Full Article