Meijer's Version Of Buy Online Pick Up In Store

Trying a grocery approach to buy online pick up in store, the 181-store Meijer supermarket on Thursday (Sept. 11) launched a trial called Grocery Express. It allows customers to make purchases online, schedule a pickup time and then drive to a local Meijer to have the pre-bagged and already-paid-for groceries loaded into their cars.

The trial will be done at a single location in Grand Rapids, Mich., specifically at the Knapp's Corner Meijer store, said a statement issued by the chain with stores in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky.

"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," said Rob Fleener, vice president of marketing and e-commerce at Meijer.

Site visitors are told to choose a pickup time, as long as it's not sooner than three hours and not longer than seven days away. If a customer gets delayed, the Web site—or a phone call—allows them to change their arrival time. Customers can also change their orders as long as it's at least three hours prior to pickup.

The program—which costs $7 for an individual order or $25 for a monthly subscription for unlimited orders—includes a "call button on the outside of the Grocery Express entry door to let their Personal Shopper know that they have arrived," the Meijer statement said.

"For those with special requests on how a particular order is bagged, there is a 'Special Instructions' section on the online form where shoppers enter information for their Personal Shopper," the chain said. "In addition, the Grocery Express system will automatically give the customer the lowest price at the time of pickup. All sale pricing will be reflected at the time of payment, with the exception of beer, wine and liquor."

The trial is excluding a few categories of products—including pharmacy, general merchandise and cosmetics—partially because some of those items are already offered for home delivery on Meijer's site.