Peapod and Stop & Shop are both divisions of Royal Ahold and now have opened a new facility specifically designed to serve businesses and non-profits:
PEAPOD OPENS FACILITY DEDICATED
TO SERVING BOSTON WORKPLACES
Leading Internet grocer Peapod, LLC, and Stop & Shop have announced the opening of a new, first-of-its-kind facility solely dedicated to serving the needs of businesses, schools and non-profit organizations in the metropolitan Boston area.
“Peapod by Stop & Shop is excited to provide enhanced delivery options and product selection to organizations who wish to provide high quality groceries to their associates and clients,” said Peapod President Andrew Parkinson. “This is a high growth potential area of our business and we believe we can offer a unique value proposition — supermarket selection at supermarket values — with no subscription or high minimum order requirements.”
The new facility serves downtown Boston as well as Allston, Arlington, Belmont, Brighton, Brookline, Cambridge, Charlestown, and Waltham, and deliveries are made Monday through Friday beginning at 7AM and ending at 4PM. Customers may choose from a variety of morning and afternoon delivery windows and can shop from over 4,000 products including fresh produce, snacks, beverages, cleaning supplies and office products. The new facility also offers a range of catering options such as deli platters, cheese trays, and fruit trays. Peapod’s state-of-the-art order-fulfillment technology and proprietary transportation routing system help achieve accuracy and efficiency in picking, packing and delivering grocery orders.
“A growing trend in the workplace today is to provide convenient, nutritious food and beverages on-site for employees,” said Andrew Parkinson, Peapod President. “Peapod by Stop & Shop makes it easier for companies to do so by offering the convenience of online grocery shopping and delivery.”
An announcement like this is best seen as an effort to reclaim ground supermarkets long ago lost to warehouse clubs.
When the Pundit was a young boy, he would help shoppers in one of the family’s supermarkets — Bardy Farms in Union, NJ, which was later sold to Waldbaum’s — and, often, that help was to assist some woman who was struggling with three shopping carts filled to the brim.
It typically turned out that the woman represented a business, such as a day care center, a nursery school, a convenience shop in an office building, a small bakery, etc. Her grocery purchases were big enough to buy far more than a consumer but too small to interest a distributor or purveyor.
That clientele has been almost completely lost to supermarkets, as warehouse clubs have specialized in this business and won most of it over.
Although Peapod by Stop & Shop says they are going after this business, it really is a test case. Peapod does not say that it will be price-competitive.
However, businesses really value the ability to order online and get delivery. It costs money to send employees shopping and there are complications regarding them paying for the goods. Not every company has or likes to give out corporate credit cards and not every employee wants to expense such purchases.
So, Peapod, through Stop & Shop, is betting that many businesses will pay a bit more to get a broader selection, package sizes more suitable and the convenience of delivery and online payment.
It won’t always work. Many of these smaller businesses are operated by the owners, and the financial savings are crucial. The burden of buying a membership card or going to a warehouse club once a week is minimal because the business owner does her own shopping at the same time.
For many businesses, though, getting to the warehouse club is an expense and a pain and this new service should be highly appealing.
The whole industry will watch this test closely. The supermarkets want these high volume customers back so any hint of success and we can expect a national roll-out of such services very quickly.