Giant Food Stores is shifting its omnichannel push into excessive gear with the debut of its first Giant Direct Powered by way of Peapod e-trade hub in Lancaster, Pa., in step with Giant President Nick Bertram.
“It alerts that we’re doubling down on e-trade,” Bertram (pictured) told Supermarket News Tuesday at a grand starting occasion for the 38,000-rectangular-foot facility. “It’s a channel that grew actually speedy for us in 2018. We simply ran out of potential to develop. So this answers that question but additionally opens up new ZIP codes that we couldn’t provider. And it’s going to take strain off some of the opposite centers. So as we maximize our network for transport, that is a surely crucial solution.”
Built at the site of a closed Giant grocery store, the Giant Direct hub at 235 North Reservoir St. In Lancaster serves as a curbside pickup web site and grocery transport center. Customers order groceries thru the store’s Peapod on-line carrier and app or the Giant website.
Parking areas categorised “Pick Up Here” allow on-line customers power up and feature their orders introduced to their motors. The facility also houses a walk-up vestibule with capsules and sparkling lockers for putting and selecting up on line grocery orders. Items are pulled from rows of bar coded cabinets and refrigerated and frozen cases in the hub’s warehouse.
Bertram stated plans name for Giant Direct Powered by using Peapod banner to replace the current Peapod through Giant branding. Besides the brand new Lancaster facility, the Carlisle, Pa.-based totally chain has e-commerce hubs in Camp Hill, Coopersburg, North Coventry and Willow Grove, Pa.
“We have five altogether. I think there’s nonetheless want, so we’re continuously looking for ways to enlarge our provider even similarly. And to be able to be part of the paintings we try this yr,” he said. “We’re additionally launching click on-and-collect in lots of our stores this yr as properly, with the intention to be some other part of the e-trade supplying and what we committed to do last yr.”
The Peapod online grocery service and its Peapod Digital Labs e-trade arm are a part of Ahold Delhaize USA, Giant’s parent enterprise. Going ahead throughout Ahold Delhaize USA’s chains, e-trade services will carry the retail banners plus the “powered with the aid of Peapod” moniker.
“With Peapod Digital Labs, we’ve cutting-edge networking software program and mapping. They can inform us precisely where we need to have more ability, and then we paintings collectively to construct facilities to do that or to alternate the transportation schedules,” Bertram explained.
“Peapod plays a massive element, as it without a doubt is the backbone and the understanding,” he brought. “But Giant Direct will become our e-trade emblem as we undergo the 12 months. We will progressively introduce it because it takes time to roll out all of these adjustments that we’re making.”
One of these changes got here final week, when Giant announced plans to open three more Giant Heirloom Markets, its new urban layout, in Philadelphia.
The first place, a 9,500-rectangular-foot store, opened Jan. 25 at inside the Graduate Hospital section of downtown Philadelphia. Next up this 12 months are Heirloom Markets inside the metropolis’s University City, Northern Liberties and Queen Village districts.
“We’ve mentioned that we are able to’t genuinely reach our complete potential unless we were given greater serious approximately Philadelphia. We’re a sturdy No. 2 player inside the Philadelphia DMA [designated market area], however in case you examine Center City, we best had one shop on the north aspect. So there’s a need, and we’re answering that want in a completely unique and progressive way,” Bertram said. “The first shop opened in Graduate Hospital, and we’re very glad with the reaction — each anecdotally and how the commercial enterprise is performing, that’s a bit higher than what we predicted. So we’re optimistic and, consequently, are pushing ahead into three different neighborhoods this 12 months.”
The University City store is because of open this summer time between Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania, serving a patron base of college students, school and administration. Slated to open its doorways in the fall is the Northern Liberties shop, located throughout from Schmidt’s Commons, a public plaza with boutiques and eating places. The Queen Village vicinity, on South Street, is expected to open through the give up of the 12 months.
As Giant’s urban store concept, Heirloom Market brings more flexibility in expanding into densely populated regions, in keeping with Bertram.
“The first shop is only nine,500 square ft, and it’s appearing in a manner that we’re pretty excited about. I think it opens up quite a few opportunities,” he said. “There’s still a lot to study; it’s in its early days. You can’t call it a homerun simply yet, but it’s absolutely at the least a double at this factor.”
Heirloom Market also allows Giant to goal precise populations of clients, including with the imminent University City store, mentioned Bertram.
“I’m excited about that one because it has much more pedestrian visitors than any of the opposite web sites,” he stated. “What I love about this [Heirloom Market] is that we’re having to innovate to every community, because they actually are very exclusive. So we’re capable of flex what makes Giant Giant however then upload in a few things that we are mastering a way to do with buddies and neighborhood purveyors. I assume the University City shop goes to be a real instance of that.”
The concept, too, dovetails with Giant’s e-commerce strategy as a manner to increase its attain and cater to customers, he introduced. “We’re constantly seeking out greater ways to satisfy clients’ needs. E-trade is a exceptional channel for us inside Philadelphia in addition to in all five counties within the DMA. So among that and our brilliant supermarkets within the suburbs, we’ve got loads to provide Philadelphians.”