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    Meijer Bows 'Grocery Express' Personal Shopper Program

    Convenience of online shopping, ease of a personal shopper, and store pickup -- what's not to like? Not much, is what Meijer is counting on.

    Meijer, Inc. has unveiled a new service -- "Grocery Express" -- at one of its stores. The service enables shoppers to select grocery and health and beauty care products online, and then have them delivered directly to their car at a designated location in the Meijer parking lot.

    The service debuts this week, exclusive to the Knapp's Corner store at 1997 East Beltline NE in the chain's Grand Rapids, Mich. hometown. The chain is currently test-piloting the program only at the Knapp's Corner location, and has no plans to roll it out to other stores until further review and evaluation are complete.

    Customers using the new service will make their selections on a dedicated Web site, www.meijergroceryexpress.com. The charge for an individual order is $6.95, or a monthly $24.95 monthly subscription fee covers unlimited orders. Meijer will accept debit or credit cards, EBT, and checks as forms of payment.

    "People can shop online, and three hours later they can pull up to the store and receive their order hand-delivered by a personal shopper," said Rob Fleener, Meijer's v.p. of marketing and e-commerce. “It's a great convenience.”

    After placing their orders online, shoppers can select a scheduled pickup time from three hours to seven days later, noted Fleener. He added that orders can be changed or modified up to three hours prior to the scheduled pickup time.

    When an order is ready for pickup, shoppers will pull into the designated parking space on the south/east side of the Knapp's Corner Meijer store. From there, they call a special number or push a “call button” on the outside of the Grocery Express entry door, which alerts the personal shopper that they have arrived. Pickup times are from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

    For those with special requests for how a particular order is bagged, there's a "Special Instructions" section on the online form.

    All sale pricing will be reflected at the time of payment, with the exception of beer, wine, and liquor, as the Grocery Express system will also automatically give the customer the lowest price at the time of pickup.

    The program doesn't currently include pharmacy, general merchandise, and cosmetics products, the chain said, although many general merchandise items are available for online purchase and conventional home delivery via the chain's Meijer.com homepage.

    Meijer operates 181 supercenters throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky.

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