Chicago-area retailers offer groceries on the go

March 31, 2010 3:28:53 PM PDT
Some Chicago-area megastores such as Wal-Mart, Sears Holdings and Meijer have now introduced drive-up grocery shopping for customers.

Meijer's store in St. Charles launched the grocery express in September of 2009.

"They can place their order online. They can shop ahead. They place their order when they are completed. They just come and we have personal shoppers that will select the order," said Tammy Aggen, Meijer Foods.

Aggen says six personal shoppers are in charge of the selection.

"They pick the best, freshest produce, the best cuts of meat, the freshest milk, and bag it up for the customers and bring it to the car," said Aggen.

Meijer's charge is $6.95 for an individual order or a $24.95 subscription for unlimited orders during a 30-day period.

Carrie Abbs placed her order online for Meijer's and three hours later arrived at the store s grocery express to pick up and pay.

"I did it today because both kids are on spring break and the idea of taking both of them to the store was not sounding really great this morning," said Abbs.

"It fits with the times, one in competition with the internet. It integrates the Internet with the store, and it helps people manage their budget by not becoming vulnerable to buying in the store on impulse," said George Rosenbaum, Leo J. Shapiro & Associates.

Meijer officials say they are very happy with the program, but they're constantly tweaking it to make sure that the customer gets exactly what they want.

Rosenbaum says it will become routine for the big box stores and give small retailers an advantage because it will offer a store experience.