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Amazon Tests a Home-Delivery Service For Groceries 176

Posted by samzenpus
from the 12-clicks-or-less-lane dept.
destinyland writes "Amazon.com is quietly trying to resurrect the failed business models of WebVan and HomeGrocer — two dotcoms which had offered home delivery of fresh groceries — with a new service called Amazon Fresh. Last week at a shareholder's meeting, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos fielded questions about the current tests being conducted in Seattle. Bezos admitted Amazon is 'tinkering' with the economics of it, adding that 'we continue to think about that...We like the idea of it, but we have a high bar of what we expect in terms of the business economics for something like Amazon Fresh in terms of profitability and return on invested capital.' No further details were forthcoming, but Bezos still acknowledged that 'we continue to think about that.'"
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Amazon Tests a Home-Delivery Service For Groceries

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  • Old news? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 19, 2011 @02:52PM (#36492406)

    I've been a Fresh customer for nearly two years now...

    • by Beardydog (716221)
      My house is full of totes :(
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Sporkinum (655143)

        My hovercraft is full of eels! :(

        • Sadly we can't get fresh eels this far inland.
          Also, the margins on the grocery business are insanely low, especially in produce. If you can't make it up on volume you can't make it. I speak from five years of reading "shrink" reports and competing with other stores to have the highest profitability. For which you're lucky to get a pat on the back, and I know of people that were literally hospitalized from job stress.

          • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

            Also, the margins on the grocery business are insanely low

            But not, alas, in the food industry. The retail grocers have been taking it in the shorts for a long time, but if you're making cornflakes, you're raking it in.

            The food business in the US is a strange mixture of big corporations that operate on very fat margins, and local and smaller outfits that barely scrape by.

            Not surprisingly, Wal-Mart does very well with their grocery business. For those that don't have a conscience or sense of social responsi

            • Not surprisingly, Wal-Mart does very well with their grocery business. For those that don't have a conscience or sense of social responsibility or concern about the lives of their children and future generations, I guess Wal-Mart would be a preferred place to buy food.

              Wow, why do you hate small businesses so much?

          • by mattack2 (1165421)

            Also, the margins on the grocery business are insanely low

            Yeah, people always say this, but it seems that lots of other places sell at least *some* groceries. I'm not even counting things like WalMart and Target.. "Drugstores" like CVS & RiteAid seem to sell a decent amount of groceries, even some refrigerated stuff. (Are they usually higher priced than a regular grocery store? Yes, I think so, but even they have sales, possibly loss-leaders, that are very good sometimes.)

            Conversely, people seem to

  • by pompetti (549554) on Sunday June 19, 2011 @02:52PM (#36492408)
    Will they deliver Tuscan Whole Milk?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 19, 2011 @02:53PM (#36492414)

    AmazonFresh has been around Seattle for several years. IIRC, Amazon bought out HomeGrocer and rebranded it.

    • by skine (1524819)

      Between AmazonFresh and Safeway, grocery delivery is hardly a new thing in Seattle.

      Two minutes on Wikipedia shows that they did their "beta-test" on Mercer Island back in 2007, and have expanded to cover Seattle, Bellevue and Kirkland.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Bit expensive, but already available country wide in the Netherlands, works fine really.
    www.albert.nl/

    • by nospam007 (722110) *

      Ditto in Luxembourg.
      http://www.luxcaddy.lu/ [luxcaddy.lu]

    • Very competitive market in the UK. Asda (Walmart), Tesco, Ocado (John Lewis Partnership) to name a few.

      Doesn't cost much more, I actually make a saving as I do not impulse buy when I see things on special offer.

      • Yup. I've unfortunately at the moment not got access to a car, as well as health problems, and there isn't a local shop in this village.

        To get my weekly shopping done, otherwise I'd have to get on a bus, and spend $5 or so getting into town and back.

        I can shop online at Tesco, pay the same price as in-store, and order anything, for a delivery of $5 or so.
        In addition, it lets me get bulk buys of staples, when they are on special offer, which would be totally impossible on the bus.
        For example - last order was

  • can this idea fail?

    • by Artifice_Eternity (306661) on Sunday June 19, 2011 @03:00PM (#36492470) Homepage

      Some packaged grocery items can benefit from national distribution and shipping, but lots of stuff -- produce, meats, cheeses, prepared foods, etc. -- need to be staged (and in some cases, sourced and/or prepared) locally, in a refrigerated facility, then delivered in refrigerated trucks. That means this kind of service will only be available in places where Amazon invests in infrastructure to support it. And that probably means denser metropolitan regions, where there's enough of a customer base in a small area to make the investment cost-effective.

      There's a grocery delivery company called FreshDirect that services the NYC area; I've had good experiences with them. But they've been refining and building their business for years. Originally they only served certain neighborhood in Manhattan (their main warehouse is in Queens, just over the 59th St. bridge from midtown Manhattan). Now, years later, they have expanded to serve all 5 boroughs, and some areas outside the city. But this expansion was very slow and deliberate, as they built up their capacity, trained their workforce, etc.

      • by Artifice_Eternity (306661) on Sunday June 19, 2011 @03:06PM (#36492532) Homepage

        P.S. FreshDirect probably benefits from certain unique features of the New York City metro area -- not only the incredible density of the population, but the relatively low percentage of car ownership.

        If my wife and I owned a car, we might go to the supermarket ourselves more regularly. As it is, we shop at various local mom-and-pop groceries ("bodegas" in NYC parlance) and a CVS drugstore that we can walk to in our Brooklyn neighborhood, and supplement that with FreshDirect orders every 2-3 weeks.

        We have a couple of supermarkets within a 15-minute walk, but it's much easier to order the supermarket-type stuff for delivery.

        There are very few places in the US with comparably low rates of car ownership. Even in other dense cities, it's much more common for people to own at least 1 car. Most of our friends in NYC (well-educated professional and creative types) are carless. Walking, public transit, and occasional cab use are more than adequate, and IMO, much preferable.

        • by cduffy (652) <charles+slashdot@dyfis.net> on Sunday June 19, 2011 @07:12PM (#36493908)

          I'm curious to see walking, transit and cab use mentioned but cycling left out; is utility cycling uncommon in New York? If so, could you speculate as to why?

          My wife and I live in Austin and go supermarket shopping fairly regularly -- her with her handbuilt cargo bike (steel frame, belt drive; front basket, large rear panniers, large basket mountable above them), me with my Bike Friday Tikit (and, for Costco trips, a 200lb-capacity cargo trailer running behind it). Finding a secure place to store the trailer looked like it might be an issue when we were moving into our current condominium, but the former owner got a statement from the board that it would be welcome in the regular bicycle parking under the stairs.

          Then again, here in Austin, I've never been more than a few miles from the nearest grocer -- though the HEB just a few blocks from our current location is somewhat limited on selection, the Whole Foods landmark and headquarters is in easy cycling distance for occasions when we need something more exotic (and neither objects to the Tikit being used as a shopping cart when wheeled around folded with its pannier open; at Costco, by contrast, I've made a habit of locking up the trailer in the copious and mostly unused bike parking and bringing the bike inside folded in my cart).

          • > I'm curious to see walking, transit and cab use mentioned but cycling left out; is utility cycling uncommon in New York? If so, could you speculate as to why?

            A few people do it, but it's not all that common. For one thing, as another commenter said, full-size supermarkets are fairly rare; we mostly have corner groceries, and some undersized supermarkets. Upscale chains like Whole Foods and Trader Joes are starting to penetrate the city, but they still serve relatively few people, mostly in certain Ma

            • by cduffy (652)

              The NYPD is now doing a lot more ticketing of cyclists. Frankly, a lot of this is deserved. I support cycling, and the expansion of bike infrastructure, but I constantly see NYC cyclists flagrantly violating traffic laws and endangering both motorists and pedestrians. Some cyclists here seem to think they have a special status than enables them to glide past everything and everyone else -- including red lights and stop signs -- and to charge thru traffic with impunity.

              We have that here too. In terms of what

      • Many Safeway stores offer delivery. Not in my area of course, where we could really use it because it's the boonies, because, of course, it's the boonies.

        • by darrylo (97569)

          I just used the Safeway home delivery for the first time, a couple of weeks ago, and I'm happy with my experience. While the delivery charge was $7 (but can go up to $13 for a 1-hour delivery window or certain times of the day), I figured that the $7 was worth it for my time and gas. A big plus was that (in my area, at least) the delivery driver refused any tip, and so that makes home delivery fairly competitive with doing the shopping yourself. You do, of course, need to do a fairly large order to make

      • by Osgeld (1900440)

        NYC is one of the few places it can succeed, in fact I would expect it to boom and not take years to meet demand so that kind of hints of what market your looking at

        now move to the rest of the country, all of a sudden your not driving a few miles to fill hundreds of orders, your driving tens of miles though numerous towns just to deliver some potatoes and a gallon of milk

        or in other words, it just does not make since for the majority

      • by dsanfte (443781)

        Just coordinate with the grocery stores. Half of them have delivery trucks already, I'm sure they'd love to have someone else handle all that for them, plus have a cut of someone else serving online orders. Why the fuck is this so hard?

    • Re:how many times (Score:5, Informative)

      by vlm (69642) on Sunday June 19, 2011 @03:08PM (#36492548)

      Amazon.com is quietly trying to resurrect the failed business models of WebVan and HomeGrocer

      aka the same successful business model of peapod.com. Talk about trashing the service by carefully selected comparisons with failures. Disclaimer, I'm a very happy peapod customer, although I haven't ordered recently. When we had two newborns, medical issues, and an utterly packed schedule, it was a lifesaver (maybe literally, in terms of food quality vs the alternative of pizza delivery every day or whatever). I also greatly enjoyed shopping online vs in the store because of the "log in and work on the order for 5 minutes each day" ability. Also the experience of shopping while reading a cookbook, or at weird times of day, was oddly pleasurable.

      can this idea fail?

      About as many times as mom and pop restaurants fail, superficially the number is about infinite. I suspect you can realistically raise capital to do about one every couple years, and it'll be economically feasible to use diesel delivery trucks for only another decade or two, lets say another 10 times.

      • by cob666 (656740)
        I used Peapod when I lived outside of Boston for quite a while. The service was excellent for staple products and the ability have saved shopping lists was another bonus. It was definitely worth the few dollars they charged for delivery. I only stopped using them because I moved to an area where the service wasn't available but over the last year I've seen several peapod trucks in the area.
    • Re:how many times (Score:4, Informative)

      by Xest (935314) on Sunday June 19, 2011 @03:10PM (#36492552)

      Now, perhaps I'm missing something here, but I wasn't aware it had failed.

      Is it's failure a US centric issue?

      The reason I ask is here in the UK we've had home delivery for years, and pretty much every supermarket offers it.

      It's highly succesful here and even Occado which is a home delivery only brand with no high street presceience I believe is even turning a decnt profit at last.

      Perhaps companies in the US are just doing it wrong? I understand it'd be an issue in some parts of the US because of the distances involved, but certainly most of the UK is covered by such services and I see little reason why major population centres in the US at the very least couldn't have a similarly succesful model.

      So is it just the US it's failed in? has it failed in other countries? In the countries it's failed in what were seen to be the causes?

      Here's it's great, if you've got a busy week just order online during work and have it delivered in a 2hr timeslot such as say 8pm - 10pm one evening, even the next day, when you know you'll be home.

      • Re:how many times (Score:4, Interesting)

        by vlm (69642) on Sunday June 19, 2011 @03:30PM (#36492698)

        Now, perhaps I'm missing something here, but I wasn't aware it had failed.

        Is it's failure a US centric issue?

        Early adopter anti-effect. The first delivery services were traditional dotcoms, in other words they (loudly) emerged, IPO'd, blew up, and sank, all in about 12 months around 1999. Early adopters make early judgments, therefore its set in stone that the entire market in 2011 is dead, because it died in 1999. So the opinion leaders think its a lead balloon and ignore it.

        The masses just look at advertising budgets... the dotcoms spent most of their dough on ads, and failed. The current crop of (successful) delivery services are spending money on the backroom so that they actually work. However, if they only spend 1/100th the money on ads, then they can only be 1/100th as successful as the failed dotcoms, right, at least according to the masses. And the early adopters trash it (see above).

        So growth is slow, yet seemingly inexorable.

      • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Sunday June 19, 2011 @03:33PM (#36492724) Homepage Journal

        Is it's failure a US centric issue?

        The only part of the UK with lower population density than the USA is the Pitcairn islands.

        • by vlm (69642)

          Is it's failure a US centric issue?

          The only part of the UK with lower population density than the USA is the Pitcairn islands.

          I donno about that. OP describes it as "UK" not downtown London.

          I live in a rural / suburban county about 20 miles from "the big city" with 650 people/sq mile. Think of an environment of very small cities and villages surrounded by dairy farms, theoretically no one is ever more than one mile from a cow, etc. Wales only has 360 people/sq mile, per wikipedia. Wales population is about twice that of my county... so twice the people in half the density means wales is about 4 times the land area. Nothing ev

          • by macaddict (91085)
            There are only seven states (plus Washington DC) [wikipedia.org] with a population density larger than Wales. They are all in the upper East Coast, and all but New York are very small.
            • by skine (1524819)

              As an interesting point of comparison, New York State is approximately the same size as England, but with half the population.

          • The top 20 cities in the US in terms of population density would probably be easy enough, mostly east coast though. Arizona, for example averages about 22 people per km^2 (roughly 50 per mi^2). Parts of Phoenix and Tuscon are better, but Arizona alone is about 1/2 the size of the UK.
            • by Xest (935314)

              It's a fair point but it's also worth pointing out that many of the US' major cities including Phoenix have much better road systems than the UK and fuel costs half as much.

              In the UK we're stuck with expensive fuel (again, twice that of the US), and a roman road system.

              I'm sure in many US cities this would certainly counteract the lower population density in making it feasible to at least some extent.

      • Is it's failure a US centric issue?

        Size.

      • I am not sure, but the difference between the way it works in India(though its on the phone and not online) and US, is that in India you call up your local supermarket/grocery store, and they deliver.

        In US, you order from a company like Amazon, where Amazon needs to set up a seperate delivery infrastructure, which is not needed if you live within 15 mins of the supermarket.

        Perhaps UK follows something similar to the Indian model and not the US model?

        • by jimicus (737525)

          Perhaps UK follows something similar to the Indian model and not the US model?

          Sounds like it. You place your order through the supermarket website, it is passed to your local delivery branch (which is a perfectly normal supermarket that has a few refrigerated vans) which fills the order.

          If your supermarket of choice doesn't have a delivery branch within range of your address (increasingly rare), then they won't take the order.

          This makes rolling out such a system very easy. The branches already had computers that connected to head office; all they need is:

          • Some mechanism to ensure the
          • by ScottyLad (44798)

            Sounds like it. You place your order through the supermarket website, it is passed to your local delivery branch (which is a perfectly normal supermarket that has a few refrigerated vans) which fills the order.

            Correct in the UK for all the supermarkets (Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's, etc) but not for Ocado.

            Tesco do have at least one "picking centre" in South London (Croydon), although this is basically a supermarket with no customers - they still push trollies down the aisles to pick up whatever's on your lis

          • by Xest (935314)

            That's how it started off in the UK but it has changed somewhat now at least with ASDA.

            In Yorkshire for example ASDA used to do it as you say- from local supermarkets as the bases, but now they have a large distribution centre near Leeds which they cover most of Yorkshire from.

            Either way seems to work though, I guess ASDA just figured they could do it cheaper by centralising it, at least in Yorkshire.

      • by glwtta (532858)
        Now, perhaps I'm missing something here, but I wasn't aware it had failed.

        It hasn't, most metro areas are covered by services like Peapod and FreshDirect.

        The submitter was being an idiot for no reason.
        • by yodleboy (982200)
          it's dead in the dallas /forth worth area and has been since home grocer and webvan went belly up. I think there might be one or two stores in upscale areas that deliver, but there's certainly no readily available grocery delivery for 99% of the area. Dunno, but I consider this a major metro area. Maybe it's not New York, but last time I checked the rest of the country ate food too.
          • by glwtta (532858)
            Dunno, but I consider this a major metro area.

            What do you consider the word 'most' to mean?
            • by yodleboy (982200)
              Most implies that peapod and freshwhatever are widely available. There is a huge swath of the country that has no access to them or similar services. A very loose use of the word most. Maybe "many" would have been more accurate, or "densely populated metro areas in the northeast".
      • by tsotha (720379)

        Is it's failure a US centric issue?

        Pretty much. The UK has 12 times the population density we have in the US. Not only are the customers further apart, but also almost everyone has a car. Home delivery can probably work in a handful of denser US metro areas (some of them already have it), but I'll be shocked if anyone ever makes it work in the smaller cities or suburbs.

    • How many times can it succeed? Here in the UK every major supermarket chain has online-order-and-deliver models and they work out just fine.

      Whether it makes sense for Amazon is less clear. As others have pointed out, books can be posted from a central warehouse while groceries need a local distribution infrastructure - hence why Amazon has only trialled this in Seattle instead of nation-wide. The supermarket chains have an established distribution network, and all it needs is a website and local delivery

      • by vlm (69642)

        while groceries need a local distribution infrastructure

        You meant to write:

        while FRESH groceries need a local distribution infrastructure

        I would think a box of dried pasta and a bottle of pasta sauce could be mailed to me from south Dakota just about as easily as a SATA hard drive. The stuff that needs refrigeration already has a local distribution infrastructure that serves numerous (competing) retail sites.

        I was tangentially involved in the "local distribution infrastructure" for in-grocery-store deli's about 25 years ago... Most of the stuff at a deli is delivered by a local with a truck who drops the same stuff off at

    • by hedwards (940851)

      The idea didn't fail, the implementation did. The problem with Homegrocer.com/Webvan was that they tried to expand too aggressively. My parents got it a couple times, and it worked well.

      The idea itself was really common in the US up until relatively recently when everybody started owning their own cars, grocery stores would offer delivery of any groceries you bought. Even today, I know of several local grocers that offer delivery, albeit for a fee.

      • by Osgeld (1900440)

        well there is a difference tween the country store and catering to millions of people in a region, thats where it fails every time

        • by hedwards (940851)

          Not really. It's not a tough thing to solve logistically. You need warehouses and a fleet of refrigerated vehicles. In the past it was tough to do, but if you've already got the supermarkets there, it's not much of a challenge logistically to pick up the groceries and deliver them.

          Apart from the cases where they had a clearly inept business plan, I'm not aware of any significant failures. The service works more often than it doesn't if you plan for reasonable expansion, rather than trying to take over the w

    • My understanding is that HomeGrocer.com was actually profitable before being purchased by webvan.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Amazon has been testing their home grocery delivery service in Seattle since 2007. Initially it was for Amazon employees only. But it's been open to Seattle residents for years. I've been using it since probably 2009. So what's the news here?

  • Bwuh? Old news? (Score:4, Informative)

    by oGMo (379) on Sunday June 19, 2011 @03:23PM (#36492644)
    This has been running for nearly FOUR YEARS [seattlepi.com]. Way to be on the ball, slashdot editors. And as it's still running after four years, it isn't really all that failed now, is it?
    • by zill (1690130)

      For absolute hilarity, imagine slashdot editors delivering groceries.

    • by tsotha (720379)

      And as it's still running after four years, it isn't really all that failed now, is it?

      Well that depends. You can offer pretty much any service you like as long as you're "tinkering" and willing to lose money. If, after four years, it's still not making money then yeah, "failed" is probably the right way to characterize it.

  • by dargaud (518470) <slashdot2NO@SPAMgdargaud.net> on Sunday June 19, 2011 @03:32PM (#36492710) Homepage
    When webvan went under, I remember some grandmas who lamented its demise, saying it was the only reason at all that they used internet at all...

    And fresh food delivery is a proximity service. There are plenty of no-name who've replaced webvan with success. A colleague buys from the local supermarket via Internet. He says it's very convenient: there's a list of recurrent products that you setup once and when you order you can always check them off and add whatever else you want. He says that his weekly internet shopping doesn't take more than 5 minutes. Going to that supermarket in the flesh is a strange experience: there are more teenagers running through the aisles like crazy to fulfill the web orders than there are live customers.

    • by tsotha (720379)
      I was tangentially involved in the first wave of grocery delivery services, and from what I could tell they ran up against a huge problem with unprocessed meat and vegetables: they're not uniform like processed foods. Sure, if I order the same brand of salami I'll probably get the same thing. But when I buy a steak I want to look at it and see if it has the right color and the right marbling. The same goes in spades for fish.
    • there are more teenagers running through the aisles like crazy to fulfill the web orders

      Can't say I've even seen one here (NH) - you're seeing this in CO?

  • I am single and live in nyc. In the past I found fresh direct as a very convenient way of being able to get quality groceries at a specified time rather than having to go through the chore of going after work to a supermarket with inferior produce, only to have to carry back a shitload of bags. I haven't used fresh direct for around a year though, as their prices have gone up to the point where it simply isn't worth it. I imagine I am not the only person who makes a modest salary who has done the same.
    • by hedwards (940851)

      Most of the local grocery stores that offer that service do it for a fixed fee or free with a minimum order. Sort of the pizza delivery model. I don't know the pricing structure for all of them, but Albertsons offers two levels of service, home delivery for $10 and pick up for $5, which is actually a pretty good deal, depending upon your situation. You can often times use that time to work or cut costs in other areas, yielding a bit of savings.

      For parents in particular being able to pick up the kids an hour

  • The submission is positioned as if the idea of delivering groceries is a concept that has repeatedly failed. I'd like to know what justification there is for that statement. Yeah, Webvan/Homeshop and Peapod seem to have failed years ago, but I and plenty of other people have been ordering our groceries online from Albertsons, Safeway, and Kingsoopers for at least a decade, now. When I lived in San Francisco, I used Webvan in the late 90s. When I moved back to Portland, I used Albertsons and Safeway until th

    • by vlm (69642)

      Peapod seem to have failed years ago

      Reports of their demise seem to be greatly exaggerated. Did they pull out of your county? I know they roll out on a county by county basis, never heard of them pulling out of a county before. They're still willing to deliver to me, anyway.

      I don't have to set aside a couple hours a week to drive to the store, find parking, get a cart, go up and down the aisles, deal with people and their tantrum-throwing kids, wait through lines, load up the car, come back home, unload and put away the groceries.

      The only thing worse than dealing with other people's tantrum throwing kids is dealing with your own tantrum throwing kids...

      My favorite part of the peapod experience was spending 5 minutes each day optimizing my weekly order, right up till the night before delivery. N

    • by darrylo (97569)

      But the idea that delivering groceries is a dumb one is just absurd.

      Delivering groceries is not absurd, but the infrastructure needed to support this is likely absurdly expensive. Existing grocery chains like Safeway have a huge advantage in that they already have most of the infrastructure needed to support home delivery (and, as you know, Safeway already does this). For them, it's probably just a matter of creating a web storefront tied into local inventory, and hiring some delivery drivers/stockclerks.

      (Side note: Amazon probably needs to resolve the internet sales tax

  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Sunday June 19, 2011 @04:01PM (#36492908)

    We live in a fairly rural area of western Washington state, and we subscribe to a home delivery service offered by a dairy - something that's been going on in the US for probably a century. The products they offer are somewhat limited - the usual eggs and milk, butter, sour cream - but they do carry a few "extras" like whole bean coffee and cookie dough.

    I know a number of competitors have died off over the past couple of decades - Smith Brothers seems to be the last man standing in this area. For now they apparently are doing okay. But part of the reason they are still around is their prices are somewhat high. We think it's worth it, since the quality of their products is superb - but for most people price is paramount. They don't care that the grocery store's milk is watery and has a funny aftertaste, as long as the price is low.

  • by physicsphairy (720718) on Sunday June 19, 2011 @04:02PM (#36492914) Homepage

    It would be great if we could do away with purchasing things in bulk, i.e., buying a full bottle of a specialty spice even though you're just going to use half of a teaspoon of it, and instead just receive exactly what you need in general purpose containers (saving also the hassle of measuring it yourself). Especially as someone who likes to cook gourmet, I like to buy ingredients as near to when I'm using them as possible.

    We could have "one-click recipes" where, instead of spending time locating ingredients, people can share their purchase orders with the associated recipes so anyone can get everything they need to duplicate it with a single mouse click.

    Getting things to order, and in exact quantities, could also avoid the energy waste of everyone owning large personal refrigerators and freezers, besides avoiding the cost and environmental impact of fancy packaging, etc.

    It becomes increasingly sensible the larger the scale of customers.

    • It would be great if we could do away with purchasing things in bulk, i.e., buying a full bottle of a specialty spice even though you're just going to use half of a teaspoon of it, and instead just receive exactly what you need in general purpose containers (saving also the hassle of measuring it yourself). Especially as someone who likes to cook gourmet, I like to buy ingredients as near to when I'm using them as possible.

      Anyone who knows anything about cooking knows that properly stored bottled spices are

    • We could have "one-click recipes" where, instead of spending time locating ingredients, people can share their purchase orders with the associated recipes so anyone can get everything they need to duplicate it with a single mouse click.

      They already have something like this, it's called delivery. Seriously, by the time you actually metered out the stuff(and you would still have to package it btw) combined it into one order and delivered it, you would wind up spending at least as much, if not more, than i
  • Heck, I'd even do it if I had to drive to a local spot and pick them up. Why? Because I'm sick and tired of having to goto one local store (Wegmans) with their idea of sale prices - 2 for $5....

    Let me order or queue what I need during the week and I'll decide when to go get it. No lists, no coupons.

    • No kidding... I would love to have a quick order pickup for groceries... though I tend to shop at 3 places... Walmart for canned/dry, Bashas for meat, Albertson's for bakery & Produce,... also Sprouts or Whole Foods for more specialty items... there's just no best of all worlds here.
  • Peapod is still in operation, so it must be possible.
  • The only thing i really miss from the dotcom era is HomeGrocer. I used it every week for as long as it was available in DFW and loved it.

    I don't really know, but I always thought it was the delivery side of things that killed it economically. I'd settle for local pick up points. Place order online, show up when it's ready and grab your stuff. Still a huge time saver. Would love to see a local store offer this, have a couple of people prep orders for you to pick up at the store.
  • You just have to cherry pick profitable business from it. Not only is that going to be more profitable, it might provide a better user experience.

    Let's take coffee. My house buys a lot of coffee. It's one of the things that might instigate a trip to the grocery store. One of our family members is lactose intolerant, and lactase pills are another market drip driver. A lot of that stuff could just show up on our doorstep every couple of weeks. Occasionally we'd have to go out for extra coffee if guests were c

  • But for it to be successful, it has to:
    1.Have minimum order requirements to stop someone ordering a pack of chips and a bottle of soda and nothing else.
    2.Not try to roll delivery costs into item prices. Charges actual costs for delivery from wherever the local warehouse/delivery point is.
    3.Have prices and range (including fresh fruit and veg, meat, bakery, dairy etc) that are comparable to what one finds in a local supermarket.

    Get that right and people who are willing to trade money (delivery costs) for tim

  • In Ukraine (Kharkov, Odessa, Ismail, Mykolaiv, Belgord-Dn., Ilychevsk, Khmelnytskyi) food delivery can be ordered via www.tavriav.com [tavriav.com].

    I used the service at least from 1997 without interruptions.

    When my wife was sick after a surgery and I had to work 12 hours a day, it was very convenient.

    Nowadays, my father-in-law, who is 81, orders items, which he cannot carry himself anymore, like bottled water, juice, rice, vegetables, fruits, etc. If it were not for this delivery service he would not be able to st

  • I mean seriously... if you add home grocery delivery to the internet and make the prices reasonable enough, the fact is, the 0.5 miles a person walks twice a week to get their fat asses out of the car, into the grocery store, to the check out and back to the car will be eliminated.

    While it sounds like a REALLY GREAT business idea.... and I'm sure it will take off... it'll take off for the wrong reasons. The poor bastard delivering the groceries will get to the house and there will be a sign on the door "The
    • I play soccer and basketball. I have games and practices to attend weekly. My son is currently competing in track and soccer, he also has games and practices to attend weekly. My wife is working on her Master's Degree while working full time in her field.

      This while attending to her elderly parents, being responsible home owners, and responsible parents!

      I would _gladly_ pay to free up that two hours a week, or so, we use for grocery shopping!

      So while your post was funny, and even partly true, it certainly do

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