Will Meijer’s free grocery delivery gesture be rewarded by customers?
Meijer is offering free deliveries of groceries on orders of $35 or more through Jan. 29.
The retailer, which operates more than 250 stores across six Midwestern states, said it rolled out the limited time offer in an attempt to support customers who may be unable to shop at its stores or reluctant to do so as a result of the Omicron variant’s spread.
Meijer’s free offer comes at a time when grocers are struggling to figure out how to profitably handle home deliveries. Many, including Whole Foods, have concluded that there is no answer other than charging for deliveries to maintain margins, even when it comes to Prime members. The grocery chain does offer free curbside or in-store pickup for subscribers to parent company Amazon.com’s program.
Whole Foods on October 25 began tacking on a $9.95 delivery charge to all home deliveries from its stores. The chain said that doing so allowed it to offer groceries online for the same price as they were in-store.
Walmart responded to the Whole Foods/Amazon’s delivery fee with an email promoting its Walmart+ subscription plan versus Prime.
“You may have heard that starting today, one grocery delivery service will start charging its customers $9.95 for every single delivery… That’s why, today only, Walmart is announcing that new customers who sign up for Walmart+, the membership that helps them save more time and money, will get $9.95 back. Because customers deserve a grocery delivery service that won’t leave a Whole in their wallet for delivery fees — whoops, typo.”
Walmart and Amazon, which share a high percentage of customers, are not the only players in the delivery space looking to separate themselves from the pack and turn a profit at the same time.
Instacart, which has faced price-related criticism tied to its fees, in November said it would reduce or waive delivery fees in select markets on orders placed more than 24 hours in advance. The option was intended to encourage more customers to plan and place their orders with longer fulfillment windows.
- Meijer stores announce free home delivery to help with pandemic – MLive.com
- Meijer offering free delivery for 2 weeks – Cleveland.com
- Whole Foods goes from free to $10 grocery delivery fee for Amazon Prime members – RetailWire
- Walmart says Amazon’s grocery delivery fee will put a ‘Whole’ in customers’ wallets – RetailWire
- Instacart wants ‘to make online grocery shopping more affordable’ – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Will Meijer’s free delivery gesture lead to higher net promoter scores or increased use of home delivery beyond Jan. 29? Can grocery retailers sustain free delivery over an extended period?