- Chicago grocery startup Dom’s Kitchen & Market has launched in-store and curbside grocery pickup service through an online storefront, the company said in an email Monday.
- The community-oriented grocer founded by veteran Chicago grocery executive Bob Mariano is also allowing customers to pre-order coffee and other other items from its cafe, and plans later to offer prepared foods to e-commerce shoppers.
- The announcement comes four months after Dom's opened its highly anticipated first store, which has a heavy focus on in-store dining experiences and prepared foods.
The decision by Dom's to establish an online presence may represent a departure from the grocer's strong emphasis on experiential features, but it also reflects an effort by the new company to connect with customers without the time or inclination to shop inside.
"While we truly enjoy personal interaction and conversation with our guests, as they shop the building, we realize there are many demands on their time," Mariano, who serves as co-CEO of Dom's, said in a statement. "So, we will provide the varied levels of interaction our guests would like. If you’re in a hurry, then let us shop, pack, bring to your car, and happily get you on your way."
Dom's first location, a 17,500-square-foot store in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood that opened in June, is brimming with full-service features, including a pizza oven, a bakery and a made-to order salad bar. The store also features several full-service food stalls offering a rotating array of made-to-order and grab-and-go foods.
The company, which raised $15 million in seed funding this spring, plans to use that model as the foundation for a chain of up to 20 stores slated to open during the next five years.
Don Fitzgerald, a former executive of the Kroger-owned Mariano's banner who is serving as co-CEO of Dom's along with Mariano, noted in an interview earlier this year that the company competes to a greater extent with restaurants and specialty grocers than it does with supermarkets. Fitzgerald added that the company would move into e-commerce gradually, and was pondering how best to build a delivery service.
In announcing the pickup service, known as Go Dom's, Fitzgerald said Dom's would start offering its prepared foods, including sushi and pizza, to e-commerce customers. "Our goal is to enrich and immerse the Dom’s customer shopping experience, whether it happens inside or outside of the store,” he said in a statement.
Dom's is promoting the pickup service by offering customers who order online by Oct. 17 the chance to win up to $200 in free monthly groceries for a year. In addition, the grocer will give all shoppers who place an online order by that date 200 stars in its loyalty program and 10% off their next e-commerce transaction.