Giant Food Stores is transferring its omnichannel push into high gear with the debut of its first Giant Direct Powered through Peapod e-trade hub in Lancaster, Pa., in line with Giant President Nick Bertram.
“It indicators that we’re doubling down on e-trade,” Bertram (pictured) told Supermarket News Tuesday at a grand commencing occasion for the 38,000-square-foot facility. “It’s a channel that grew certainly fast for us in 2018. We clearly ran out of the ability to develop. So this answers that query however additionally opens up new ZIP codes that we couldn’t a carrier. And it will take pressure off a number of the other facilities. So as we maximize our network for shipping, this is a clearly critical answer.”
Built on the site of a closed Giant grocery store, the Giant Direct hub at 235 North Reservoir St. In Lancaster serves as a curbside pickup site and grocery delivery center. Customers order groceries thru the store’s Peapod online service and app or the Giant website.
Related: Giant Food Stores to unveil new e-trade concept
Parking spaces labeled “Pick Up Here” let online customers drive up and have their orders brought to their vehicles. The facility additionally houses a stroll-up vestibule with tablets and sparkling lockers for putting and choosing up online grocery orders. Items are pulled from rows of bar coded cabinets and refrigerated and frozen instances inside the hub’s warehouse.
Bertram said plans call for Giant Direct Powered by using Peapod banner to replace the current Peapod by way of Giant branding. Besides the brand new Lancaster facility, the Carlisle, Pa.-based totally chain has e-trade hubs in Camp Hill, Coopersburg, North Coventry and Willow Grove, Pa.
“We have five altogether. I assume there’s nonetheless want, so we’re continuously seeking out methods to extend our carrier even similarly. And with the intention to be a part of the paintings we do that year,” he said. “We’re also launching click on-and-collect in a lot of our shops this 12 months as well, with the intention to be every other part of the e-commerce offering and what we committed to do a closing year.”
The Peapod online grocery carrier and its Peapod Digital Labs e-commerce arm are a part of Ahold Delhaize USA, Giant’s parent agency. Going forward across Ahold Delhaize USA’s chains, e-commerce offerings will carry the retail banners plus the “powered via Peapod” moniker.
“With Peapod Digital Labs, we’ve got modern day networking software and mapping. They can inform us exactly wherein we want to have more capability, and then we work together to build centers to do that or to trade the transportation schedules,” Bertram explained.
“Peapod plays a massive component, as it genuinely is the spine and the know-how,” he introduced. “But Giant Direct turns into our e-trade emblem as we undergo the yr. We will steadily introduce it because it takes time to roll out all of these adjustments that we’re making.”
One of these modifications came an ultimate week, while Giant announced plans to open three greater Giant Heirloom Markets, its new city format, in Philadelphia.
The first area, a 9,500-rectangular-foot keep, opened Jan. 25 at inside the Graduate Hospital segment of downtown Philadelphia. Next up this 12 months are Heirloom Markets in the metropolis’s University City, Northern Liberties and Queen Village districts.
“We’ve cited that we can’t genuinely reach our complete capability until we got more critical approximately Philadelphia. We’re a strong No. 2 participant inside the Philadelphia DMA [designated market area], however, if you examine Center City, we only had one shop on the north side. So there’s a want, and we’re answering that want in a completely unique and innovative way,” Bertram stated. “The first shop opened in Graduate Hospital, and we’re very glad about the reaction — each anecdotally and how the business is appearing, which is a touch higher than what we expected. So we’re constructive and, consequently, are pushing ahead into three other neighborhoods this yr.”
The University City keep is due to open this summer between Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania, serving a client base of students, college and administration. Slated to open its doorways inside the fall is the Northern Liberties store, situated throughout from Schmidt’s Commons, a public plaza with boutiques and eating places. The Queen Village area, on South Street, is predicted to open by way of the stop of the 12 months.
As Giant’s city shop concept, Heirloom Market brings extra flexibility in increasing into densely populated areas, in keeping with Bertram.
“The first shop is only nine,500 square feet, and it’s performing in a way that we’re quite enthusiastic about. I assume it opens up a lot of opportunities,” he stated. “There’s nonetheless a lot to examine; it’s in its early days. You can’t call it a home run just yet, however, it’s in reality as a minimum a double at this point.”
Heirloom Market also enables Giant to target particular populations of customers, such as with the approaching University City keep, mentioned Bertram.
“I’m enthusiastic about that one because it has a great deal greater pedestrian visitors than any of the opposite sites,” he stated. “What I love approximately this [Heirloom Market] is that we’re having to innovate to each neighborhood because they definitely are very distinctive. So we’re capable of flex what makes Giant Giant however then add in a few matters that we are gaining knowledge of the way to do with buddies and local purveyors. I suppose the University City save is going to be a real example of that.”
The idea, too, dovetails with Giant’s e-commerce method as a manner to extend its attain and cater to customers, he introduced. “We’re usually searching out more ways to satisfy clients’ desires. E-commerce is an outstanding channel for us inside Philadelphia in addition to in all 5 counties inside the DMA. So among that and our excellent supermarkets inside the suburbs, we’ve plenty to offer Philadelphians.”