- Large-format Italian marketplace Eataly plans to offer same-day grocery delivery in downtown New York City, Boston, Los Angeles and Chicago through the ecommerce platform Mercato, the brands recently announced.
- With the new partnership, Eataly joins more than 1,000 independently-owned grocers and specialty stores that deliver through Mercato. Eataly also offers same-day delivery and pickup through Instacart.
- By partnering with Mercato, Eataly will not only expand its delivery reach, but also its offerings through the service. Mercato recently added alcohol order fulfillment to its platform, which will allow Eataly to boost its sales of fine wines and alcoholic beverages, the announcement noted.
Eataly, a pioneer in the food hall trend across the U.S., is extending the availability of its specialty grocery offerings as restaurants’ bottom lines continue to suffer during the coronavirus pandemic. Its grocery consumer base has grown since the onset of the pandemic, according to Raffaele Piarulli, Eataly's executive vice president of North America.
The company's local and imported groceries may lose some of their luster for shoppers outside of its sensory-driven store environment. At the same time, being able to get these items quickly and conveniently could be seen as a value for customers.
Eataly and other large-format marketplaces, like Grand Central Market in Los Angeles, have adapted their layouts to accommodate social distancing guidelines, but restricting foot traffic can lead to substantial financial costs.
The upscale Italian marketplace’s recent investments in culinary experience offerings, such as cooking classes, have been hit hard. Eataly World, a "food amusement park" in Bologna, Italy that opened in late 2017, has had to shut its doors until at least spring 2021 due to tightening national restrictions and heavy financial losses, according to Italian media outlets.
Online delivery platform Mercato has carved out space in the increasingly competitive online grocery space by catering to independent, specialty stores. Mercato says it can get independent grocers’ delivery operational within as little as 24 hours after cataloging inventory, and also offers advertising targeted to nearby consumers through major social media outlets. In September, the City of New York announced its own partnership with Mercato to enable select local vendors and small-scale grocers to roll out online ordering and delivery.
Several similar sprawling New York City food halls, including Essex Street Market and Grace’s Marketplace, have partnered with Mercato for online delivery. Essex Market manager Adam Schneider told Condé Nast Traveler in June that their online delivery services had expanded by more than 9,000% since they joined Mercato.
In addition its grocery delivery partnerships, Eataly currently offers restaurant delivery through several third-party apps including Caviar, Uber Eats and DoorDash.