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(Reuters)   As Amazon ingests Whole Foods and consumers get more comfortable with shopping for groceries online, Kroger considers buying up wholesaler Boxed and will even pay the delivery fee   ( reuters.com) divider line
    More: Obvious, Grocery chain Kroger, Supermarket, New York-based startup, U.S. grocery market, same-day delivery platform, Executive Chieh Huang, largest online retailer, Whole Foods Market  
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492 clicks; posted to Business » on 13 Jan 2018 at 7:26 PM (8 days ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



27 Comments     (+0 »)
 
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2018-01-13 06:10:38 PM  
Grocery delivery is big business in the UK. All the supermarkets do it and more and more people are signing up every month. It makes sense for lots of people. Especially if you have young kids and wrangling them around a supermarket is a nightmare. You can't move these days for refrigerated delivery vans.

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In the UK it's nationwide cover but I imagine there are lots of areas in the US where the service would not be feasible. But certainly in the cities and large metro areas.
 
2018-01-13 07:22:36 PM  
I miss Webvan...
 
2018-01-13 07:30:28 PM  

Carter Pewterschmidt: Grocery delivery is big business in the UK. All the supermarkets do it and more and more people are signing up every month. It makes sense for lots of people. Especially if you have young kids and wrangling them around a supermarket is a nightmare. You can't move these days for refrigerated delivery vans.

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In the UK it's nationwide cover but I imagine there are lots of areas in the US where the service would not be feasible. But certainly in the cities and large metro areas.


It might be fine if you get a lot of things in boxes but there is no way I'm going to let some rando pick out my fruit, veggies and meat.
 
2018-01-13 07:46:41 PM  

Vaginosilicosis: Carter Pewterschmidt: Grocery delivery is big business in the UK. All the supermarkets do it and more and more people are signing up every month. It makes sense for lots of people. Especially if you have young kids and wrangling them around a supermarket is a nightmare. You can't move these days for refrigerated delivery vans.

[img.fark.net image 850x566]
In the UK it's nationwide cover but I imagine there are lots of areas in the US where the service would not be feasible. But certainly in the cities and large metro areas.

It might be fine if you get a lot of things in boxes but there is no way I'm going to let some rando pick out my fruit, veggies and meat.


The Kroger I shop at has the ClickList thing where you buy online and pickup at the store later.  It costs $5 to do that and, the one time I tried, it said it would be 7 to 9 hours before I could pick my groceries up -- 2 to 4 hours after my regular dinner time.  If I used the free items & coupons they offer with ClickList combined with getting stuff for meals not the day I order it would be somewhat useful...but I still like picking out my fresh goods, meats, breads, etc.
 
2018-01-13 07:52:47 PM  
relevant to headline
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2018-01-13 08:02:53 PM  
I would not trust some rando to pick out my produce.
 
2018-01-13 08:05:15 PM  
Carter Pewterschmidt:
In the UK it's nationwide cover but I imagine there are lots of areas in the US where the service would not be feasible. But certainly in the cities and large metro areas.

Oddly enough, it's not the rural parts of the country who need exposure food delivery.  The truck below (frozen and dry goods, mostly not terribly healthy) is something you'll frequently see making house stops at dirt-road farmsteads in much of the most rural parts of the country. Maybe not bush Alaska, but seriously off-the-track Texas and Wyoming, it's an institution.

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2018-01-13 08:10:25 PM  

Carter Pewterschmidt: Grocery delivery is big business in the UK. All the supermarkets do it and more and more people are signing up every month. It makes sense for lots of people. Especially if you have young kids and wrangling them around a supermarket is a nightmare. You can't move these days for refrigerated delivery vans.

[img.fark.net image 850x566]
In the UK it's nationwide cover but I imagine there are lots of areas in the US where the service would not be feasible. But certainly in the cities and large metro areas.


I don't think you understand traffic in US cities, In the suburbs it would work best
 
2018-01-13 08:22:22 PM  

TheSubjunctive: Carter Pewterschmidt:
In the UK it's nationwide cover but I imagine there are lots of areas in the US where the service would not be feasible. But certainly in the cities and large metro areas.

Oddly enough, it's not the rural parts of the country who need exposure food delivery.  The truck below (frozen and dry goods, mostly not terribly healthy) is something you'll frequently see making house stops at dirt-road farmsteads in much of the most rural parts of the country. Maybe not bush Alaska, but seriously off-the-track Texas and Wyoming, it's an institution.

[img.fark.net image 650x366]


The Schwans truck had some pretty tasty frozen crap, we didn't get it but my friends did and it seemed huge with the mormon families.   Haven't seen one since leaving Wyoming 25 years ago, didn't think it was still around.
 
2018-01-13 08:58:34 PM  
Put me in the "not letting some rando pick my fruits, veggies, and meat".  Milk/canned tomatos/stock/ketchup/etc?  Not a problem.

I don't mind getting groceries, and sometimes enjoy it.  Takes me 10-20 minutes, usually 5 of that is waiting in the checkout line.

/ I know where stuff is in my store
// my grocery list is organized so I go in an efficient path
/// advertising I hate to see:  "We've Remodeled!".  No, you just moved shiat to I don't know where.
 
2018-01-13 09:19:28 PM  

Vaginosilicosis: It might be fine if you get a lot of things in boxes but there is no way I'm going to let some rando pick out my fruit, veggies and meat.


Snotnose: Put me in the "not letting some rando pick my fruits, veggies, and meat".  Milk/canned tomatos/stock/ketchup/etc?  Not a problem.


If you buy stuff packaged then someone handled those vegetables etc.  Same as when you eat at a restaurant. In fact most vegetables and fruit is picked and handled by random minimum wage workers on the farms where they are grown. What's the difference?

But I know people who get their tinned, packaged stuff, bottles and cans of drinks etc delivered so they can just pop to the store to pick out fresh bread, loose vegetables etc. Means they can just carry a basket and spend five minutes in the store and checkout the express lane, all their bulk heavy stuff is delivered to their door.

chitownmike: I don't think you understand traffic in US cities, In the suburbs it would work best


Know how I know you don't live in London? I've driven in LA and San Francisco. They're a walk in the park compared to London.
 
2018-01-13 09:23:24 PM  

Snotnose: Put me in the "not letting some rando pick my fruits, veggies, and meat".  Milk/canned tomatos/stock/ketchup/etc?  Not a problem.

I don't mind getting groceries, and sometimes enjoy it.  Takes me 10-20 minutes, usually 5 of that is waiting in the checkout line.

/ I know where stuff is in my store
// my grocery list is organized so I go in an efficient path
/// advertising I hate to see:  "We've Remodeled!".  No, you just moved shiat to I don't know where.


I'm the opposite - I hate grocery shopping because the only time I have to do so is on a Saturday, when there's no place to park, every moron in town seems to be at the grocery store and I've come to the realization that I really dislike people in general.

Having said that, the Krogers in my area all seem to have a big problem with their Click List service - they hire teenagers as "personal shoppers" and vehicle loaders.  I don't mind young people as a general matter, but Kroger doesn't seem to train them on how to pick out fresh groceries and the little darlings seem to be logic challenged when it comes to loading the trunk of a car.

As an example - at three different Click List locations, I had to explain each time that the heavy containers like 12 packs of beverages or cases of water need to go flat on the floor of the trunk, not stacked and that bread and eggs go in the interior, not the trunk.  My brother went to pick up the order for me one day and I ended up with a 12 pack of soda having tumbled onto the bags of bread and eggs, then breaking open and a can of soda exploding in the trunk.

On the other hand, the Walmart stores locally offer grocery pickup as well.  The difference is that Walmart requires a lower order minimum ($30 instead of $40), does not charge a pick up fee and the store I use is competing with WinCo and Aldi's, so their milk is $0.97 per gallon and eggs are 3 dozen for $1.27.
 
2018-01-13 09:57:02 PM  
I've been enjoying the Amazon Pantry service for...well, pantry stuff. I usually limit myself to 100 dollars, or one full box, whichever comes first. I buy some of the stuff I have all the time - Giant Size boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios, big cans of Cento tomatoes, canned beans, rice sides, etc. But then I sort it all by price and start filling the rest of my box with items under $2. I usually end up with quite a haul of odds and ends, stuff like 50-cent boxes of cake mix, or little 6 oz containers of seasoned tomato sauce, and stuff like that. These days when I go to the grocery store, it's usually 2 bags or less, fresh stuff, bread, milk, etc. Everything else gets dropped off on my front doorstep :) I also like that you can find weird stuff on there too.

I tried Safeway's grocery delivery, and found it to be OK... But the delivery charge I get (because I always order less than they offer free delivery for) makes it not worth it to me. And now I guess Kroger is getting into the game in this area - they've been advertising for warehouse pickers for the area, and the specifics of the job sound suspiciously like you'll be prepping items for individual deliveries.

Delivery will make us lazy... But I'm already lazy. But not lazy enough to let someone pick out my meat and veggies tho (sorry). So I'll probably stick with 50 or so percent delivered, the rest picked up.
 
2018-01-13 10:15:17 PM  

Praise Cheesus: I hate grocery shopping because the only time I have to do so is on a Saturday, when there's no place to park, every moron in town seems to be at the grocery store and I've come to the realization that I really dislike people in general.


Then go at 8AM.  Or 10PM
 
2018-01-13 10:36:23 PM  
Meh..,I actually enjoy grocery shopping. Grocery delivery has its niche' for sure, but I don't think it is ever going to catch in in huge drives in the near future. It must be some hunter/gatherer instinct as it seems many others don't like others picking out their meat and fruits either.

/Plus, I'm a cheapskate and delivery services don't accept, let alone double or triple my coupons like the one grocer in town does.
 
2018-01-13 11:20:05 PM  

12349876: Praise Cheesus: I hate grocery shopping because the only time I have to do so is on a Saturday, when there's no place to park, every moron in town seems to be at the grocery store and I've come to the realization that I really dislike people in general.

Then go at 8AM.  Or 10PM


At 8 AM, the meat counter usually has not been properly restocked and by 10 PM it has been picked clean.  Since the only time I go into the grocery is for meat and fresh veg, the optimal time is between 10 AM and 12 noon.   Now, on Sunday, that time is doable - most folks in this area are in church at that time, so us heathens can get around the store without having to dodge those terrible oversized carts designed to amuse kids.
 
2018-01-14 12:30:47 AM  

Carter Pewterschmidt: If you buy stuff packaged then someone handled those vegetables etc.  Same as when you eat at a restaurant. In fact most vegetables and fruit is picked and handled by random minimum wage workers on the farms where they are grown. What's the difference?


Who buys packaged vegetables?   When I said boxed items I meant Corn Flakes and pasta, not produce.

I want to pick good fruit and meat.  I don't want to flip a coin for which of these steaks shows up at my door.
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2018-01-14 12:36:28 AM  

Vaginosilicosis: there is no way I'm going to let some rando pick out my fruit, veggies and meat.


It really depends on the fruit, veg, and meat.

There is a lot of that stuff that is generally pretty OK. Root vegetables, for example.

There is other stuff in those categories that it pays to be a little pickier about. Stone fruit or most berries, for example.

I'd consider one of those services, but I'd still make my weekly trip to my local farmer's market.
 
2018-01-14 12:45:29 AM  

DoughyGuy: I've been enjoying the Amazon Pantry service for...well, pantry stuff. I usually limit myself to 100 dollars, or one full box, whichever comes first. I buy some of the stuff I have all the time - Giant Size boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios, big cans of Cento tomatoes, canned beans, rice sides, etc. But then I sort it all by price and start filling the rest of my box with items under $2. I usually end up with quite a haul of odds and ends, stuff like 50-cent boxes of cake mix, or little 6 oz containers of seasoned tomato sauce, and stuff like that. These days when I go to the grocery store, it's usually 2 bags or less, fresh stuff, bread, milk, etc. Everything else gets dropped off on my front doorstep :) I also like that you can find weird stuff on there too.


I find that the Amazon Pantry prices are all over the place and that the shipping fee cuts into discounts. Target and Jet are often cheaper for pantry stuff.
 
2018-01-14 12:48:13 AM  

Vaginosilicosis: Carter Pewterschmidt: If you buy stuff packaged then someone handled those vegetables etc.  Same as when you eat at a restaurant. In fact most vegetables and fruit is picked and handled by random minimum wage workers on the farms where they are grown. What's the difference?

Who buys packaged vegetables?   When I said boxed items I meant Corn Flakes and pasta, not produce.

I want to pick good fruit and meat.  I don't want to flip a coin for which of these steaks shows up at my door.
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I shop at Kroger and I can tell you that you will NOT find the well marbled steak on the bottom there regardless of who picks it out.
 
2018-01-14 01:24:41 AM  

thornhill: DoughyGuy: I've been enjoying the Amazon Pantry service for...well, pantry stuff. I usually limit myself to 100 dollars, or one full box, whichever comes first. I buy some of the stuff I have all the time - Giant Size boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios, big cans of Cento tomatoes, canned beans, rice sides, etc. But then I sort it all by price and start filling the rest of my box with items under $2. I usually end up with quite a haul of odds and ends, stuff like 50-cent boxes of cake mix, or little 6 oz containers of seasoned tomato sauce, and stuff like that. These days when I go to the grocery store, it's usually 2 bags or less, fresh stuff, bread, milk, etc. Everything else gets dropped off on my front doorstep :) I also like that you can find weird stuff on there too.

I find that the Amazon Pantry prices are all over the place and that the shipping fee cuts into discounts. Target and Jet are often cheaper for pantry stuff.


I forgot to include my one complaint about Amazon Pantry's recent service is that they got rid of the "Buy 5 Items From This List And Get Free Shipping" thing, something that encouraged me to order more often. And you're right about the prices being all over he place, but my cereal is cheaper than Safeway prices mainly because it sells it in a larger size than the store does. But I also used to buy boxes of Belvita biscuits through Pantry too, but when the stores near me started carrying them they're almost the same exact price.
 
2018-01-14 01:47:16 AM  
+1 for Instacart, where available. Made grocery shopping an easy clicking-in-pajamas affair in Austin
 
2018-01-14 02:36:08 AM  

myworld: I shop at Kroger and I can tell you that you will NOT find the well marbled steak on the bottom there regardless of who picks it out.


Go to a better supermarket I guess.   You can find that in the choice bin at Hannaford on most days.  Of course I also watch people pass over that "fatty" steak for the crappy one all day long too.
 
2018-01-14 11:36:15 AM  

Somaticasual: +1 for Instacart, where available. Made grocery shopping an easy clicking-in-pajamas affair in Austin


I've tried that service as well.  However, being in the Dallas-Fort Worth suburbs, the selection of stores available is a tad limited (Aldi's, Whole Foods, Costco, Kroger, Tom Thumb and PetCo).  The big downside for me is it's $15 per store or $149 annual membership will get you multiple store stops for a single delivery.

With my local Walmart, I can order the groceries on Friday evening after work, elect for a Saturday afternoon pick up time and be able to edit my order up until about 2 AM on Saturday, so if something did not get added to the list, we run low/out of a pantry staple or my husband decides he'd rather have something else for lunches, I have a 4-5 hour window for editing the order.  With a $30 minimum order (Kroger has a $40 minimum, Tom Thumb and Market Street have a $50 minimum), on those weeks where I don't need a lot, I don't have to pad out the list to hit my minimum.  However, some of their substitutions are a bit odd: I will order frozen hamburger patties, a 21 count box of 1/3 pound patties for $7.  Invariably they are out of the brand I selected and substitute 3 boxes of Bubba Burgers, 1/3 pound patties, 6 count box.  The price for one box of the Bubba Burgers is $11.97, so I end up with 3 boxes for $7.
 
2018-01-14 01:19:23 PM  
I just don't understand how or why this is a thing. For shut-ins, or people who live many miles from the nearest grocery store, sure. Otherwise, is it really that much of a hassle to go down to the corner and buy the things that sustain you?
 
2018-01-14 04:20:47 PM  
Boxed, which sells bulk staples like toilet paper and pet food to shoppers' doorsteps...

"wholesaler"

Inigo-montoya.jpg
 
2018-01-14 04:41:36 PM  

swahnhennessy: I just don't understand how or why this is a thing. For shut-ins, or people who live many miles from the nearest grocery store, sure. Otherwise, is it really that much of a hassle to go down to the corner and buy the things that sustain you?


It's handy if you're busy.  If you save the items you buy regularly to a favorites list, shopping online and then just picking up the groceries takes less than 20 minutes.  If you have arthritis in your knees or a bad back, it's far less pain inducing than walking a large supermarket.

Perhaps you don't have a car.  Ever tried carrying groceries on public transport?  Far more convenient to have a month's worth of groceries delivered for $15 than to try and haul them yourself.

How about a parent with small children?  It's a right pain in the ass getting through a supermarket with a couple of kids in tow.  Bonus: no meltdowns from the kids when you refuse to buy chocolate covered Sugar Bombs instead of Cheerios.

In short, depending on circumstances, yes - it can be quite a bit of hassle to go to the grocery store and shop.
 
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