How wal-mart plans to transform the way we buy groceries – chicago tribune

Plenty of companies have tried to carve out a market for this. Avocado and egg for breakfast Instacart, along with tech titans Google and, have put their muscle behind doorstep grocery-delivery models that are similar to what Peapod has offered for decades.

And yet, despite an e-commerce stampede that has upended sales of items such as books, electronics and clothes, researchers estimate that online shopping accounts for 2 percent or less of total U.S. Avocado and egg salad grocery sales.

With the pickup model, Wal-Mart is testing whether its best weapon in this digital fight is its most old-school – and hardest to replicate – asset: a network of more than 4,600 stores.

It is counting on a different idea of convenience, one that caters to time-starved suburbanites who spend hours each day in their cars. Avocado and egg for skin Maybe for them swinging into a parking lot for a few minutes makes more sense than waiting around the house for a delivery.

Kroger and Giant are also touting pickup services, and even Amazon is reportedly considering opening bricks-and-mortar locations with grocery pickup capabilities. Avocado and egg weight loss Pickup programs, not delivery, were the main driver of growth in habitual online grocery shopping in the past year, according to Tabs Analytics, a firm that studies the consumer-products industry.

While Wal-Mart does not disclose sales figures for online grocery pickup, it has taken the program from five markets to more than 80 nationally in the past year.

“We see a huge opportunity through pickup, particularly in grocery,” Doug McMillon, Wal-Mart’s chief executive, told investors last year. Egg and avocado bake recipe “The combination of digital relationship and stores is a winner.”

Wal-Mart executives say pickup has had particular appeal with a demographic many retailers are eager to court: millennial moms like Brummel. Avocado and fried egg As her 1- and 3-year-old sons babble in their car seats, Brummel explains that they are the pint-size reasons she does her weekly shopping this way.

“I physically have no room in the cart,” said Brummel, 33. Baked avocado w egg “It was a nuisance before. Bacon egg and avocado I would have to get a babysitter, or wait till my husband was home and shop at night, and then things are kind of picked over.”

Wal-Mart will have hurdles to clear as it aims to build the free service into a bigger business: For one, shoppers have often been reticent to buy groceries online because they are worried about the quality of the fresh meat and produce. Avocado and poached egg This will be a consumer-psychology challenge for any company trying to get in the game, but it may be a particularly acute one for Wal-Mart.

“They’ve historically gotten mediocre marks from consumers for produce and meat,” said Jim Hertel, senior vice president at Willard Bishop, a consultancy that studies the grocery business.

And Wal-Mart has been outgunned online before. Avocado and egg baked in oven The retailer notched $13.7 billion in online sales last year, a far cry from the $99 billion posted by Amazon. Is avocado and egg good for your hair ( Jeffrey P. Egg and avocado breakfast Bezos, the chief executive of Amazon, owns The Washington Post.)

Yet, if the pickup format keeps gaining customer affection, Wal-Mart could be especially well-suited to ride the wave. Avocado deviled eggs recipe no mayo About 90 percent of Americans live within 10 miles of a Wal-Mart store.

At the Wal-Mart store in Franklin, as at other locations offering pickup, the company has added personal shoppers who handle only these online orders. Egg and avocado on toast James Gilmore, who leads e-commerce pickup for Wal-Mart in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast, said stores typically have four to nine staffers on the team.

Personal shoppers get in-depth training on how to evaluate produce and meat for quality and freshness. Poached egg and avocado breakfast As Gilmore walks down an aisle of fruits and vegetables, he reaches for a jicama.

“We teach them how to tell the firmness – this one actually feels really good,” Gilmore says, noting that the root vegetable’s brown skin is smooth to the touch. Avocado and egg sandwich Workers are taught to look for signs that a particular item is past its peak freshness.

There’s a reason that the instruction focuses so heavily on getting fresh foods right: Gilmore says that, for shoppers, letting Wal-Mart pick out their fruit, vegetables and meat is “the trust fall,” the moment when they count on a stranger to understand what they want.

Of shoppers who have never bought groceries online, 67 percent say it’s because “I like to select fresh products for myself,” according to research by Morgan Stanley.

This is why the personal shoppers show customers items such as produce and eggs before packing them into the car. Avocado egg roll recipe from cheesecake factory The idea is that if someone saw an avocado that wasn’t quite ripe or an egg that was cracked, a substitution could be made on the spot.

And also, personal shoppers are supposed to get to know the preferences of repeat customers, so they might learn, for example, if someone likes their bananas a little on the green side. Avocado egg bacon breakfast They might also slip your dog a biscuit or your child a lollipop.

Personal shopper April Styers gathers the orders, making her way through the store pushing a wheeled cart outfitted with four rows of blue bins that allow her to keep each order separate. Avocado egg rolls recipe cheesecake factory As she stops in front of the Honeycrisp apples, she spins each one in her hand and gives it a gentle squeeze before bagging it and placing it in the cart.

In Wal-Mart’s version of pickup, shoppers have about 30,000 items to choose from – mostly groceries, but also general merchandise such as pet products or printer cartridges, all priced the same as in-store merchandise. Egg stuffed avocado recipes To fill the orders, the personal shoppers make their way through the store’s grocery aisles, guided by a handheld device that takes them on the most efficient route to collect all the items.