- Southeastern Grocers plans to launch a new e-commerce program that will let shoppers take advantage of in-store pricing and promotions when placing orders for delivery or pickup, the Florida-based supermarket chain announced Thursday in a press release.
- Customers will be able to use the service, which Southeastern is developing with DoorDash, to submit delivery orders beginning in October. Curbside pickup will begin in early 2023.
- Southeastern is joining a growing number of retailers that have moved to augment or replace e-commerce services run by outside companies with platforms that give them more control over their relationship with shoppers.
Southeastern, which runs stores under the Winn-Dixie, Harveys Supermarket and Fresco y Más banners, has long depended on e-commerce providers like Instacart, DoorDash, Uber Eats and Shipt to serve digital shoppers.
But while the grocery chain will use DoorDash’s white-label platform, DoorDash Drive, to fulfill orders that come in through the new service, there is a key difference: Shoppers will use the grocers’ own apps and websites to place orders.
Even though Southeastern is working with an outside firm to run its new sales channel, the retailer made it clear that it views its new service as an important step forward as it works to rewrite its relationship with digital customers. Among the top benefits for shoppers who use the service is that they will not have to pay higher prices typical for delivery purchases.
“Our current delivery offerings, as well as most others, are third-party services that often do not reflect the same great in-store offers and pricing available at our local stores,” a Southeastern spokesperson said in an email. “By utilizing our new proprietary service, we are excited to offer our customers the same great prices, deals and benefits as shopping in store with the luxury of shopping from anywhere.”
Southeastern, which operates stores in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi, plans to make its new e-commerce service available to shoppers at most of its locations, according to the spokesperson.
The delivery program, which offers service in as little as two hours, will roll out next month at Winn-Dixie and Harveys stores, the grocer said. Fresco y Más stores will begin offering delivery service through the new platform in early 2023, when all three banners will also start providing pickup through the service.
Southeastern noted in the press release that it will be upgrading and adding equipment to Winn-Dixie and Harveys stores during the next few months. The spokesperson said the enhancements are related to the pickup option it is developing, but did not provide further details.
Southeastern’s decision to invest in new e-commerce options follows the company’s announcement in early 2021 that it intended to significantly increase the number of digital coupons and personalized offers it distributes in a bid to strengthen engagement with customers.
Jeff Wells contributed reporting to this story.