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Farm Stores Corp. which operates drive-through express markets in south Florida, has introduced Farm Stores iExpress, which the company says is Florida’s first online grocery shopping service to feature convenient drive-through pickup locations.
In addition to the staple items the retailer has long stocked, the new service’s expanded offerings are comparable to those of a full-line grocery store. Customers can log onto www.FarmStores.com, create an account, place orders, and have groceries waiting for them at one of 17 Farm Stores locations in Miami-Dade County. Shoppers can also choose what time they want to pick up the items.
“For 53 years, our customers have relied on the convenience of shopping for milk, bread, eggs bananas and other quick-trip items from our stores without having to get out of the car,” said Carlos Bared, CEO of Palmetto Bay, Fla.-based Farm Stores Corp. “About eight years ago we thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if people could shop their entire grocery list without having to get out of the car?’ That concept, merged with current technology and consumer demand, became Farmstores.com.”
The company, which also owns Gardner’s Super Market Inc., will fulfill online orders at its fully stocked supermarket and deliver them at the customer’s chosen time and Farm Stores location, where the items will be kept until they’re picked up.
“Previous efforts to provide online groceries by other companies had certain pitfalls such as requiring customers to be at home during a select window period,” explained Farms Stores SVP Thomas O’Connor, who, prior to joining Farm Stores, was president of Publix Direct. “Because hindsight is 20/20, we were able to solve this problem by developing an online service that allowed buyers to pick up from one of our Farm Stores drive-through locations when it was convenient for them: on the way home from work, after picking the kids up from school or on the weekend. The service is perfect for anyone on the go or who has limited time,”
Farmstores.com plans to expand throughout the county and state. First-time customers who logon to the site will receive special discounts on their first order.