- Today Food Lion launched Food Lion To-Go, a new grocery pickup program, at select locations in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, according to a company press release.
- Grocery pickup may be available in as little as one hour, the company said. Food Lion is offering free pickup for first orders, and after that a fee of $1.99 will apply to orders over $35 and $3.99 for orders less than $35.
- Once customers place their order online, they can schedule their pickup window and when they arrive at the store there will be designated grocery pickup parking spots. A Food Lion employee will bring the order to their vehicle.
Grocery retailers are adding or expanding grocery delivery and curbside pickup at a rapid pace. While Walmart reigns supreme in pickup due to its massive footprint and free pickup for orders over $30, other grocers have stepped up their pickup efforts recently.
Food Lion is the second Ahold Delhaize banner to add pickup this month. A few weeks ago, Stop & Shop also announced a new same-day pickup service for shoppers placing orders on Peapod. The service is starting at 20 stores and will roll out to 175 by year's end. Ahold Delhaize has been vocal about growing e-commerce this year, and it's clearly pushing its various banners to be stronger competitors.
The statistics on how many shoppers regularly utilize these services are somewhat surprising, considering how intensely retailers are battling to outdo one another. According to a recent survey from Offers.com, only 20% of Americans use a grocery pickup service. Among those shoppers, 39% said they choose Walmart’s service and 25% reported trying a local grocery chain.
Most shoppers still have some resistance to online grocery. Reasons could include the need to see and feel food items themselves or concerns over unwanted food substitutions for out-of-stock items. Others may balk at the extra costs for delivery or pickup. And while consumers seem intrigued with technology in grocery retail, two-thirds of them would prefer to see lower prices on store shelves than the latest gadget, according to a survey from Ultimate Coupons.
In addition to adding grocery pickup, Food Lion is investing substantial funds in store remodels this year. In March, the company announced an investment of $158 million to remodel 92 stores in South Carolina. The new stores feature improved deli and bakery departments, more natural and organic product offerings and stronger customer service.