Online Grocery Services Rebounding
CHERRY HILL, NJ – Online grocery services are making a cautious comeback, reports The Cherry Hill Courier Post. Grocers are increasingly allowing customers to order online in programs that vary from pickup to home delivery. And as consumers seek ways to make fewer trips, online grocery services keep appearing.
Even Amazon.com is getting into the Internet food business. Amazon offered about 10,000 nonperishable food items — recently upgrading to 14,000 — and shipping adds about $6 more. According to the International Herald Tribune, Amazon is betting that many of its grocery customers will instead use the site’s prime service, which, for $79 annually, gives customers unlimited two-day shipping on most Amazon items, including all groceries.
However, analysts warn that merchants are hard-pressed to make a profit in a sector where margins are already as thin. For instance, Albertson’s LLC closed down its online grocery shopping service in Dallas-Fort Worth, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Sacramento, Calif., July 21.