Brookshire brings curbside pickup to stores in Texas
- Brookshire Grocery Co. is now offering online ordering with curbside pickup at 100 stores under banners Brookshire’s, Super 1 Foods and FRESH by Brookshire’s, according to a press release.
- The Texas-based retailer's new online ordering platform, powered by e-commerce company Mercatus, allows shoppers to order, pay and schedule a pickup time for their groceries. Personal shoppers will fulfill customer orders and will communicate directly by text or phone.
- Brookshire began piloting online ordering in 2017 at its FRESH by Brookshire's location in Tyler, Texas. It expanded curbside pickup to several Super 1 Foods locations last summer, and has since added the service to 60 new locations.
Brookshire Grocery Co. has a long history with its customers and is a steward of its local communities, heading up events such as the Fresh 15 race that it started to keep customers and employees healthy. Offering curbside pickup will likely be welcome among loyal shoppers, and help the retailer stay competitive in Texas' crowded grocery landscape.
Time will tell whether offering curbside pickup is enough to stave off other grocery stores and e-tailers that offer pickup as well as front-door delivery. Brookshire also offers order delivery through Instacart, so for many locations adding curbside service closes the loop on e-commerce convenience.
Surfing wave after wave of e-commerce innovations is challenging for small-scale retailers and specialty stores. Major names like Kroger, Walmart, and Amazon are dabbling in everything from cashier-less stores to mobile apps to smart shelves that help shoppers find items on their lists quickly. Albertsons recently announced a technology-focused partnership with Microsoft, which already partners with Kroger on developing grocery retail technologies.
Many regional grocers like Brookshire Grocery tap third-party services to keep pace as opposed to launching in-house technology departments, but it can be a struggle to keep up. Smaller brands have a hard time matching competitive prices and low fees from larger outfits, and it is typically much easier for mega brands to recoup the costs of new technology through their massive scale.
Despite the margin squeeze, industry experts warn small-scale grocers not to fight the e-commerce trend in light of the quickly accelerating demand for online grocery shopping. Online grocery is projected to become a $100 billion opportunity by as early as 2023. Grocery sales have only grown 2% during the last decade and retailers are poised to lose anywhere from $200 billion to $700 billion if they don’t maintain pace with changing consumer preferences, intensifying competition, and new technologies.