For at least 30 years, people have thought there is a business in delivering your groceries to you. But nobody's ever been truly successful with home delivery of groceries except in New York and San Francisco. Yet that could all be about to change...
Groceries right to your door!
There is a fast growing company called Instacart that does grocery home delivery and is adding cities all the time. You pay $5 plus a tip to the person who brings your groceries to you. Of course, you are trusting somebody else to pick out your produce. So if you are really picky on your fruits and vegetables this probably isn't for you. But the convenience of not being able to go to the supermarket is something that a lot of people love.
Now comes word that Target is going to team up with Instacart in the Red Retailer's home market of Minneapolis. Other markets are being eyed for expansion if this test goes well.
Other notable grocery delivery services include Amazon Fresh (California, New York and Seattle), Peapod (Chicago, D.C., Philadelphia, most of New England) and Deliveer (Vancouver, Los Angeles, Toronto and Chicago).
Meanwhile, Walmart is offering free pickup of groceries that you order online in select markets. This service was recently expanded to Atlanta, GA; Charlotte and Fayetteville, NC; Nashville, TN; Tucson, AZ; Colorado Springs, CO; and Salt Lake City and Ogden, UT, according to Zacks Equity Research.
Traditional supermarkets are under assault from every direction. If you're a traditional player, you have the high-end competitors like Whole Foods, the off-beat guys like Trader Joe's, the hard discounters like Aldi and Save-a-Lot and then the national warehouse club chains Costco, Sam's Club and BJ's Wholesale all eating your lunch. It's not a happy business to be in, with some supermarket chains shrinking and others even going bankrupt.
The real winner in all the turmoil is you, the consumer! I'm predicting that getting delivery of groceries, or pick up of what someone has packed for a la Walmart, will be common and routine with the next 24 months.
For more money-saving advice, visit our Shopping & Retail section.