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“Publix Curbside,” a test of online grocery ordering and at-store pickup, debuted in one Atlanta store yesterday and will launch at a single Tampa, Fla., location in the near future, according to the Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix Super Markets
The selected stores are #0773 in the Toco Hills Shopping Center in Atlanta and #0754 in Shoppes of Citrus Park in Tampa.
Customers in those markets can place their orders online at www.publix.com/curbside, where they can choose their desired pickup location and a specified 30-minute pickup window. The site will calculate an estimated total, since weights for produce, meat and deli items fluctuate. Sale prices for the store that are effective on the day of pickup will be honored. Shoppers pay when they pick up their groceries. No minimum order amount is required, and a $7.99 service fee per order is included in the total. As an introductory offer, the $7.99 service fee will be waived for first-time users. The site will enable multiple shopping lists to be saved under the customer sign-in for further purchases.
“As we continue to provide our customers with the service they have grown to expect, we need to provide new and more advanced ways to meet the needs of their growing and changing families,” noted Publix director of media and community relations Maria Brous. “Publix Curbside is a natural extension of our service commitment, especially for time-starved families.”
Personal shoppers will fulfill orders for customers using the service. If a customer doesn’t have access to a computer for order placement, orders can be faxed directly to the store or phoned in. For convenience, designated parking spaces will be available at the Tampa store and a dedicated drive-through has been established in Atlanta.
Running the test in two markets will give Publix the chance to review data, look for similarities and study the differences. The company has studied online shopping and home delivery since 2000, prior to the launch of its “PublixDirect” program in 2001.
In a departure from that initiative, which ended in 2003, Publix Curbside has in-store personal shoppers fulfilling the orders, which are then picked up by shoppers at a local, specified Publix store.
According to the company, it’s the first traditional grocer to offer such a service in the Atlanta and Tampa areas.
Privately owned and operated by its 142,000 employees, Publix operates 1,020 stores in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee.