Amazon-owned Whole Foods Market plans to offer grocery pickup from 480 stores by the end of September 2020. The retailer has already tripled its pickup availability since March, responding to the surge in online demand driven by the pandemic. While it offers two-hour grocery delivery in more than 2,000 cities and towns, Whole Foods had previously offered grocery pickup from just 80 stores at the end of 2019.
As US consumers embrace grocery pickup, retailers have been scaling up their services and achieving outstanding results. Target recently extended its fresh pickup options, helping it deliver growth of 273% from same-day services. Ahold Delhaize reported its click and collect services were growing faster than delivery and would soon account for 50% of online sales. Likewise, Instacart has expanded their pickup services, adding 1,400 more stores to its pickup service since early March.
With a better margin profile than delivery and Amazon cognisant of further capacity issues this year, this is a prudent move by Whole Foods to tap into a growing consumer segment. The rising demand for pickup services also heightens the need for brands to win in this space as consumers turn to online ordering and limit larger basket in-store visits. Prioritising digital shelf placement and driving online visibility and engagement across leading sites and apps will be vital.
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