Supermarket Shopping Online
I was thinking — since we don’t seem to be able to convince ACME or Giant Eagle to upgrade their Kent stores to look as nice as their other stores in the area, maybe we just need to cut out the middleman altogether. Actually, this wasn’t my idea, I happened to read an article about FreshDirect.com which is an on-line grocery business in the New York City area that is doing exceptionally good business. I realize that success is partly a function of the really hectic New York lifestyle and the traffic hassles that make grocery shopping in NY completely frustrating, but still…why not dream big for Kent too.
I’ve come to learn that on-line grocery was part of the dot.com wave of the 1990’s and like so many other web based businesses from that era most of them crashed. A couple survived and Freshdirect.com is one of them. Last year Freshdirect had $200 million worth of food sales, shipping more than 60 million items from 2 million orders. That’s a lot of millions.
Here’s how Freshdirect describes their business:
We’ve hired New York’s food experts, built the perfect environment for food and found the shortest distance from farms, dairies and fisheries to your table.
We have all the irresistibly fresh food you could want, plus popular grocery brands for up to 25% less than supermarket prices and we bring it right to your door.
Our food comes directly from farms, dairies and fisheries (not middlemen), so it’s several days fresher and a lot less expensive when it gets to your table. Our fully refrigerated, state-of-the-art facility (minutes from Manhattan in Long Island City) lets us meet standards no retail store in the country can match. We follow USDA guidelines and the HACCP food safety system in all our fresh storage and production rooms. Since customers don’t shop in our facility, we can maintain different environments for each type of food we sell. For example, we have seven different climates for handling produce, ensuring that the bananas are as happy as the potatoes.
In addition, we prepare a lot of our fresh food to order right on the premises. We cut your meat to order. All our seafood is prepared in a chilly, sparklingly clean prep room. We have a bakery which produces nice crusty bread, rolls, and more exotic pastries to your exact order. We even prepare meals in separate hot and cold kitchens. As we say in our ads: “Made to order. Again and again.”
Take a tour of our facility if you’d like to get a closer view, and then come and shop with us. We have a lot of happy customers already, as you can see from some of the testimonials on the site, and we’d like you to become one. We’re working hard to provide a unique service to all New Yorkers.
Unfortunately Freshdirect currently only serves the NYC metro area. But intrigued by the concept I found another on-line grocery chain that serves a lot more markets, some of which are not that far from here. It’s called Peapod and they serve a fair amount of the mid-west markets including Illinois, so it wouldn’t be that much of a stretch to bring’em to northeast Ohio, would it?
It also turns out that ACME offers on-line grocery shopping — but not in our area. The ACME on-line shopping is available in parts of Deleware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, not Ohio.
If you’re inspired here’s a contact email site for ACME — tell them you want them to upgrade the Kent store! Or if they can’t afford it, urge them to get started with on-line shopping serving the Kent area. Here’s the same link for Giant Eagle.
You may think I’m crazy to suggest writing to them but I’ll tell you what, in my last city the “moms” organized an email campaign and after it crashed the store’s server they got the message and actually ended up opening a new store in Kingsport — so I’ve seen it work.
For the record I actually really like ACME, I love the Stow store, so I’m not trying to pick on them, I just want better for Kent and I know they’re capable of delivering it.