( Photo courtesy NeONBRAND )

Major retailers including Walmart, Kroger and Albertsons have continued to invest in their e-commerce capabilities this year as the industry
prepares for a future in which Amazon is a larger player in grocery.

Regional retailers and smaller chains have also been adding or expanding pickup and delivery services in order to be able to compete more
effectively with those bigger grocers.

A Gallup poll showed that most people still aren’t ordering groceries online, but other studies indicate pickup and delivery are now part of the grocery experience for many people. Industry analysts believe it is likely that e-commerce will continue to grow, especially as companies look to keep shoppers from switching to Amazon, which is creating another grocery banner separate from Whole Foods.

Nov. 21
Consumers taking omnichannel approach to holiday food shopping
By Ashley Nickle

A new survey found that 30% of consumers expect holiday grocery shopping to be more stressful than usual this year and plan to take an omnichannel approach as a result.

With six fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, 50% of those who regularly shop online for groceries plan to do so more than usual this holiday season, and 46% of shoppers who don’t use online grocery still reported they would be somewhat likely to order a prepared meal from a grocery retailer, according to facilities management company ServiceChannel. 

Twenty-nine percent of respondents plan to order prepared holiday meals or dishes — 36% of men and 21% of women. 

Oct. 29
Grocery order fulfillment companies receive tens of millions in funding
By Ashley Nickle

Fabric and Green Rabbit, two companies designed to improve the efficiency and profitability of grocery delivery, announced significant investments this month.

Consumer interest in online grocery has continued to grow as heavyweights Walmart and Amazon battle for the future of grocery with e-commerce serving as the front line. Walmart introduced in mid-September a subscription that allows shoppers unlimited grocery deliveries for $12.95 per month, and Amazon announced Oct. 29 that it will provide Amazon Prime members with free grocery delivery from Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods.

Given those developments, other grocery retailers have felt the pressure to offer those services as well, and that is where companies like Fabric and Green Rabbit see lots of opportunity.

Sept. 13
Walmart expands Delivery Unlimited membership option
By Tom Karst

Online grocery spending has grown 15% in the past year, and a new move by Walmart points to even bigger growth to come.
The company recently announced plans to expand the reach of Delivery Unlimited — a grocery delivery membership option for customers — to 1,400 stores later this fall.

The program gives shoppers the option to pay a yearly $98 fee or a monthly $12.95 fee to receive unlimited Walmart grocery delivery orders, according to a news release. 

June 20
Kroger reports 42% growth in digital sales
By Ashley Nickle

Kroger did $37.3 billion in sales in the first quarter of the fiscal year, and the company reported that digital sales grew 42%. 
In his comments on the earnings report, CEO Rodney McMullen referenced the company’s Restock Kroger initiative and the role that digital plays.

“It all starts with our customer obsession, which is why Kroger is assembling a platform to deliver anything, anytime, anywhere,” McMullen said in the release.

Kroger now has 1,685 pickup locations and 2,126 delivery locations, making online grocery an option for 93% of the households that shop with the retailer.

May 28
11 predictions for the future of grocery
By Ashley Nickle

Los Angeles-based firm CBRE delivered projections on topics from e-commerce to prepared meals to store experience in its latest research report on the grocery industry.

Among its other projections, CBRE expects that online grocery share will reach 5-10% by 2022. 

“The store will remain critical to grocery revenue and profit, but expect significant changes in layout, design and product and service offerings as grocers adopt more and more omnichannel strategies,” CBRE wrote.

Jan. 29
Giant Food Stores to open e-commerce hub
By Ashley Nickle

Shoppers in and around Lancaster, Pa., will soon be able to order online from Giant Food Stores and then pick up their groceries at a new e-commerce hub.

Online grocery orders will also be delivered from the facility, which is 38,000 square feet, according to a news release. Shoppers can also walk up and place orders on tablets.

With the opening of the e-commerce hub, the retailer is changing the branding of its online grocery services from “Peapod by Giant” to “Giant Direct, Powered by Peapod.”