Soon you'll be able to click, pull up to the curb and speed off with your groceries, all without changing out of your pajamas. (Photo by: Stephanie Breijo)
[3/2 Update: online shopping is now available for the Kroger located at 10800 Iron Bridge Road, and to celebrate, Kroger is waiving the $4.95 service charge for a customer's first three orders. So go on and stay in those PJs a little longer, and do your grocery shopping from your couch.]
Does anyone else keep a list of errands you can do without getting properly dressed? I’m talking drive-throughs — not whatever nude-beach errands you may have just daydreamed up. Bank deposits, car washes, beer runs, fast food grabs, Starbucks visits, drugstore pickups, and wedding ceremonies (thank you, Vegas) are all doable from the comfort of your own car. And now, drumroll, please: so is getting your groceries. Sure, there are already services that offer online selection and pickup locations, or even delivery. But this is KROGER. Coupon Country. Miles of Aisles. Land of 1,000 Mustards. As early as next month, you’ll be able to pull up to the curb and have a Kroger employee load your pre-made selections into your car and swipe your credit card. At which point you’ll skip off to do something more interesting with that extra hour of your life — especially if you did manage to get dressed.
ClickList, the new online ordering feature, will first hit the Richmond area via the Chester location at 10800 Iron Bridge Road in March, and extend to other local Kroger stores by the end of 2016. The online shopping experience, from which you can shop more than 40,000 items, will be simple and streamlined; every item sold in each Kroger location will be available for selection. You’ll pay a $4.95 service charge for the convenience, but you can still use coupons, and you can pick up any time between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. The store keeps everything in a temperature-controlled zone until you arrive, so ice cream is still on the menu.
If you select something and arrive at the store to find that it was sold out, the nearest equivalent substitute for the product will be brought to your car for you to approve or reject. If you approve it, the price will match what you originally requested. Any in-store sales are reflected online, too. Most importantly (for picky apple-fondlers like me), their employees are trained to search for the choicest produce they can find, the stuff they’d buy for themselves.
Online ordering could be a wise move for Kroger now that supermarket business is booming, especially in the area; with multiple Aldi locations freshly open, plus two Wegmans markets and a Publix on the way, it could be a way to diversify. Of course, if you ask Kroger, it's just giving the people what they want.
“Customers have been asking for another alternative to traditional grocery shopping and Kroger is delivering," says Allison McGee, spokeswoman for Kroger's Mid-Atlantic division. "We continuously look for ways to help make our customers' lives easier and enhance their shopping experience. Online shopping saves our customers time and is a convenient way for them to shop.”
Party time, pajama people. Look for ClickList at Chester’s Kroger Marketplace in March.