Mar 28, 2014 6:38 AM by Bob Grotenhuis

Denver Tests Online Grocery Shopping

E-Commerce is moving into the grocery business with the giant discount retailer Wal Mart jumping in, offering free in store pickups and home deliveries for a small fee. Wal Mart is testing on-line grocery services in Denver.

Working mom Dara Pechan has one less thing to do because of Wal Mart to go, an online grocery service, now available near her home in the Denver metro area.

Her groceries arrive in a refrigerated truck. same prices as in store shopping. A delivery person totes them inside. 

"To be able to order my groceries online and have them dropped at the door and not have to drag my kids to the grocery store is amazing."

The fee? $5 to $7. No tips allowed.

Another shopper, Laura Petsche, won't have to set foot in the store. 

"I have 3 small children and so going grocery shopping was such a big deal."

She placed her order online, drove in, popped her trunk, and never had to leave the car while a store employee loaded her groceries. This service is free. What she says is even more appealing? 

"It just makes it so much easier." 

A total of 29 Wal Mart stores in the Denver Metro area offer online grocery shopping with options for store pickup and home delivery...part of a test program. While placing an order, customers choose a time for delivery or pickup. A personal shopper collects and bags it all. 

Wal Mart says the time is right for this pilot program to study consumers' evolving habits . 

"They're shopping more online, adopting e-commerce more as well as mobile technology."

Forrester Research predicts online grocery shopping will be an $18 billion market this year. One that Wal Mart, with busy customers, is looking to tap into.

Wal mart says customer feedback will help determine success of the test program, and whether the company will expand online grocery services to other cities.

The discount retailer says it's well situated for its e-commerce grocery business since two-thirds of the U.S. population is within five miles of one of its 4,200 stores nationwide.


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