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Piggly Wiggly Carolina has been running a pilot program called "Click 'N Shop" that allows shoppers to order their groceries online, then travel to one of 10 stores to pick their purchases up already bagged and ready to go.
The grocer said it started the program this summer. Customers picking up orders can park in a specially reserved spot, pay at the service desk and retrieve their groceries; or have their bags delivered to the car.
"This program is especially good for working moms," Bob Cook, manager of the Shelter Cove Hilton Head Piggly Wiggly, one of the stores participating in the pilot, told Progressive Grocer. "It gives them an extra hour. We wanted to offer this service to our customers that might be looking for an alternative method of shopping."
Cook said the program works very well. "We're trying to get the word out," he added. The service was featured in Hilton Head's newspaper, The Island Packet, on Tuesday. "We've already received two orders today because of the article," Cook said.
Other Piggly Wiggly Carolina stores in the Charleston area, Myrtle Beach, Columbia and Florence are also testing the program.
At Cook's store on Hilton Head, both tourists and locals have used the online option. Store staff received training to pick out groceries, including meat and produce.
The online form allows shoppers to ask for specific brands or make other requests. Customers can order as little as four hours, or as much as a week in advance, as long as there is a pick-up time slot available.
The Hilton Head store can handle four pick-ups every 30 minutes, said Cook. There is a $5 charge for ordering online.
Rita Postell, spokeswoman for Piggly Wiggly Carolina, said the company does not expect the online option to replace traditional shopping for most customers. Cook agreed. "It's great for some people, but other customers want to come in and shop," he said.