- Kara Driscoll Staff Writer
Customers no longer have to leave their house to stock up on groceries in the Dayton area.
Meijer is bringing its home delivery services to Cincinnati and Dayton later this month, and it will result in the creation of 1,000 jobs in the state. Based in Grand Rapids, Mich., the grocery retailer will launch the new service in Cincinnati and Dayton on April 27. It will then be offered in Columbus, Dublin and Fairborn starting May 4.
Toledo will be added as a market later this summer, according to the company.
Meijer partnered with Shipt, an app and website that offers grocery delivery services. It allows customers the ability to shop for items online or using its mobile app, and then a personal shopper brings the shopping order right to the customers door.
“Now customers can shop a complete grocery list online, having access to our world class assortment of fresh produce, meat, dairy and a number of other essentials that Shipt will hand select from a local Meijer store and deliver to a customer’s doorstep,” said Rick Keyes, president and CEO, in a statement.
Here’s how it works: Shoppers go on the Shipt app or website and order what they need online. A Shipt personal shopper goes to the nearest Meijer store, picks up the needed items and brings it right to the customer’s door.
Art Sebastian, Meijer’s director of digital shopping, told this newspaper that customers can communicate with the personal shopper via messaging in case they forgot an item they needed or want to specify their order more clearly. The personalization is so particular that customers can specify how ripe they want their veggies.
“We also worked very hard to make sure personal shoppers are highly trained with product and fresh meat,” Sebastian said.
Customers can sign up for Shipt membership for an annual fee of $99, and receive unlimited free grocery deliveries on all orders more than $35. Because most Meijer stores are open 24 hours a day, deliveries from those stores will be available around the clock.
The delivery has already seen success in other cities. The program first launched in Detroit, and made more than 80,000 deliveries in the first six months. Shipt is also looking to hire about 1,000 personal shoppers throughout Ohio markets to fulfill the services.
Sebastian said delivery just adds another option for customers — they can also shop in stores, utilize curbside pick-up services. Other grocery retailers like Kroger and Walmart also are offering online shopping and curbside services to meet changing consumer habits.
Kristin Mullins, president and CEO of the Ohio Grocers Association, told the Dayton Daily News that online retailers are getting in the grocery game too. In select cities, Amazon Prime members can shop online for groceries and everyday essentials and have it delivered to their doors with AmazonFresh. Customers pay a monthly $15 fee, in addition to their $99 annual Prime fee.
“I think Amazon is providing us with some stiff competition in this area, and other traditional online shopping,” Mullins said. “The grocers are really trying to move to more convenient ways to shop. They are trying to think about how consumers want to get their groceries these days, and what’s the best and most effective way for them to get it to them.”
Meijer has locations across the Miami Valley, Cincinnati and Springfield.
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