Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I'm never going to the grocery store again

Giant Food Stores dominates the grocery store market in my area. However, they recently rolled out a new service that pretty much guarantees I will never step foot in their store again---their home shopping feature.

This week I logged onto their site, entered my Bonus card number and up came a list of the nearly 250 products I have purchased most over the last 3-6 months. Then I simply went through the list and selected the items I needed. What was great was that they had already pulled up the brand and size I most use. They even give you the opportunity to further customize your list by adding comments like "3 very ripe bananas" or "thin slice ham."

After you select your food items, you are then asked what you'd like them to do if an item you requested in not available. I chose to have them substitute a product of the same size but different brand. You could also ask they don't substitute at all or substitute with the same brand but a different size.

You are also give the opportunity to "browse the aisles" or see all the bonus buys in case something you wanted wasn't brought up with your bonus card.

Then you select when you'd like to pick your groceries up. If you plan on picking up an order the same day you submit it, you will be able to pick it up after 4:00 pm. If you are ordering for the next day, you can pick up any time.

I chose to pick up the groceries between 5:00-6:00 pm so Jim could get them on his way home from work! He just pulled up in the pick up lane and they loaded a week's worth of groceries in the car. When you pick up is also when you pay, so he handed over a credit card and they "checked him out" right there at the curb with their handheld scanner. This is also the time you'd give them any coupons you might have.

You also come away with a slick portfolio that lists your entire order by aisle and confirms what they were able to pull for you.

That was it!

The best part is the cost. They do add a personal shopper charge to your bill of $4.95. (The first time you try their service, the fee is waived.) That's it! I figure if all I'm worth is $4.95 to drag Junior through the grocery store while he topples end displays and hides behind the meat counter, then I will gladly turn over the job to a personal shopper so I save a few gray hairs.

This service is currently only available at their Camp Hill location. I'm guessing if it's a success they might offer it at other stores. But even if you lived on the east shore you could place your order and then pick it up after church or when you are near Camp Hill doing other errands.

Try it and I guarantee that you'll never step foot in a grocery store again either.


Emily said...

I'm extremely jealous of both you and my sister. Granted, I don't have any kids to hamper me at the store (unless you count Jonny, who's not much of a shopper), but I DESPISE going to the grocery store. The carts, the people, the lines, more carts. It's enough to make a person go insane, if, of course, that person is agoraphobic. Erin has had the home shopping service for years. I shall continue to wait patiently, or rather huddled in a shivering mass in the corner mumbling, "I didn't realize 13 items was too much for the express lane," until the service arrives in my area.

Hands-Free Heart said...

So cool! I was wondering about the cost. I knew there'd be one. But like you said, the time and hassle involved is definitely worth that price! I'll be trying this out really soon.

The Gang's All Here! said...

Hey there! I belong to a consumer survey group for Giant and shared your reactions with the group (anonymously) - I have to admit, I've been wary of this all the times they introduced the idea on the boards. But reading your reactions and knowing that you and I shop and plan similarly for our family's food definitely swayed my thinking. Do you mind if I share your post if they ask for more details?

Tracy said...

Hi Natalie... This is Tracy at Giant and we very much enjoyed your comments about Shop from Home. Would you be interested in participating in an ABC27 segment with Dennis Buterbaugh on Thursday talking about how to use the new feature and the benefits? Here is my local number and thanks for letting me know! 240-1513

Tracy said...

Natalie: You are a star! Thanks again, Tracy