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Keying in on time-starved, convenience seeking Chicagoland shoppers, Meijer has unveiled Grocery Express, a service that combines the convenience of online shopping with the ease, speed and attention offered by a personal shopper.
The program, which is now offered at the Meijer stores in St. Charles and Aurora, Ill, allows shoppers to select grocery and health and beauty care products online at a dedicated Web site and have them delivered to their car at a designated location within the store’s parking lot.
“We first launched this program about a year ago at one of our Grand Rapids area stores and customer feedback has been terrific,” said Rob Fleener, VP of business development and e-commerce for the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based privately held retailer. “The average basket size has been about 50 items, and our customers really love the convenience. 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. It’s a great convenience for customers.”
The cost to use the service is $6.95 per order, or $24.95 for an unlimited number of orders during a 30-day period, which can be paid for via debit or credit cards, or with EBT cash or food and checks. After placing their orders online, shoppers select a scheduled pickup time -- anywhere from three hours to seven days from the time of their orders. Shoppers can change their orders up to three hours prior to their pickup time, and can even change their arrival times if they’re running late.
When an order is ready for pickup, shoppers pull in to the designated parking space at the store, and then can call the Grocery Express numbers or push a “call button” on the outside of the Grocery Express entry door to let the personal shopper know they’ve arrived. Pickup time slots are from 11:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.
Special requests, such as how a particular order is to bagged, can be made via a “special instructions” section on the online form on which shoppers enter information for their personal shopper. In addition, the Grocery Express system will automatically give the customer the lowest price at the time of pickup, and all sale pricing will be reflected at the time of payment.
Meijer’s Grocery Express Web site has more than 27,000 items available to order. The most popular items delivered through the service are baby items such as diapers and formula, along with staples such as milk, bread, eggs and cereal. Since the program began in Grand Rapids, most customers place and pick up their orders within 24 hours.
The Grocery Express program doesn’t include pharmacy, general merchandise, cosmetics products, alcohol or tobacco products, although many general merchandise items are available for online purchase and home delivery at mailto:%3ca target='_new' target='_new' href=mailto:firstname.lastname@example.orgemail@example.comfirstname.lastname@example.org. Meijer also offers online bulk grocery sales through its “Grocery By The Case” program, also available at mailto:%3ca target='_new' target='_new' href=mailto:email@example.comfirstname.lastname@example.orgemail@example.com.
Meijer operates 189 supercenters throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky