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PHILADELPHIA -- Shoppers here logging on to the newly launched Genardis.com will now be able to specify how ripe they prefer certain fruits, or how thick they like their steaks, thanks to a revamp of the Safeway-owned chain's online offering that brings it in line with that of other Safeway operating units.
Such features are not being offered by market leader Acme Market, on its namesake online shopping portal.
Identical service levels are widely available at Pleasanton, Calif.-based Safeway's West Coast divisions, through Safeway.com and Vons.com. The company said those sites have developed a strong following.
"We have found that online grocery customers are busy people who want quality groceries delivered on time and at their convenience," said Mitch Rhodes, president of Genuardis.com. "The introduction of Genuardis.com to Philadelphia allows us to deliver the high level of service we’re known for, to the busy residents of Philadelphia."
Billed as a "customer-friendly" Web site designed to mirror the format's aisle configuration, products are organized into sections including frozen foods, dairy products, fresh produce, grocery, and non-food. Customers can choose the brands they prefer, and select fruit or vegetables to suit their own "ripeness" preferences.
"Genuardis.com goes to great lengths to ensure that fresh, quality goods are delivered," said Lesa Musatto, s.v.p. of marketing for Genuardis.com. "Every order is hand-picked by experienced, 'personal shoppers' from a nearby Genuardi's store."
The chain will make deliveries six days a week, between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m., within a two-hour time slot selected by the customer.
The services will also include delivery of prescription refills, with same-day delivery for orders placed before 9:30 a.m. at no extra charge. In addition, an Express List tool allows customers to shop in less than 20 minutes. They can type their shopping list into the virtual notepad and then retrieve all the items with one click, the company said. Nearly all items available in Genuardi's stores, including Genuardi's Club Card specials, are available online at in-store prices, according to Genuardi's.
A "shopping history" feature allows registered Genuardi's Club Card members to access records of frequent purchases. First-time customers will receive free delivery on their first order, after which time the cost of the service is $9.95 on orders $50 to $149 and $4.95 on orders over $150.
Genuardis.com is 50-percent owned by Safeway, and 35 percent owned by Tesco plc, the number one food retailer in the UK and operator of Tesco.com.