Curbside in, salad bar out at Cape Cod grocery stores
Demand for at-home delivery and curbside pick-up seems to have plateaued, but demand still remains high
The way people buy their groceries may forever be altered after new protocols and delivery methods have changed the way people shop.
Many people have become accustomed to shopping for grocery Stores doing Curbside shopping. Target, Walmart and Macys have stayed strong as retailers through the covid19 pandemic!
Take Super 1 Foods Curbside , whole foods curbside pickup from Amazon.
“This is going to be a part of our future going forward forever,” said Brian Junkins, the owner of Friends’ Marketplace in Orleans.
On Cape Cod, the demand for at-home delivery and curbside pick-up seems to have plateaued, but the demand remains high.
Guaranteed Fresh Produce and Dairy Company switched gears from delivering to restaurants to people at home shortly after COVID-19 reached the region.
The first two months were absolutely insane, said owner Adam Weiner. However, recently it has become more manageable, he said.
The company is doing about 100 deliveries a day, seven days a week, he said. That’s about 700 homes they are serving, not including curbside pickup.
Since everyone has been stuck at home, getting their groceries delivered has “opened a lot of people’s eyes,” he said. Customers have told him that beforehand they never would have thought of having their produce delivered.
“This isn’t going to go away next week,” Weiner said. “Even if all restaurants reopen July 1, it is still etched in people’s brains now.”
No one is going to want to sit in a crowded restaurant or eat in a crowded restaurant for at least 12 to 18 months, he said.
At Ring Bros. Marketplace in Dennis, online sales are beginning to level off, said Joan O’Donnell, general manager. The online system, which started shortly after the pandemic hit, has been booked solid, with about 30 to 60 deliveries a day, she said.
Now, some people are venturing out versus having their groceries delivered, O’Donnell said.
“I think a lot of elderly people aren’t going to be jumping out their door anytime soon,” she said. “I foresee this going through the summer.”
Restaurants and bars were closed in March, and since then many grocery stores have had to rethink how they do business.
For some, that meant offering online shopping for the first time, with the option to pick it up or have it delivered. For others, it has meant hiring personal shoppers to gather items in the store to prepare for deliveries and curbside pickup.
Officials at Stop & Shop expect home delivery service will remain high as many customers will prefer to continue to stay home, the company said in a statement.
Many stores have had to rethink how they do business inside the store, putting up plexiglass barriers at the cash register, sanitizing daily, requiring employees to wear masks and gloves, and limiting the number of people in the store at one time.
There has also been a behavioral shift in the way people shop, Junkins said. Customers are coming to the store less frequently, but are buying more.
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Part of the change has also meant the closure of salad bars, hot bars, catering and prepared foods.
Stop & Shop in the next few weeks is planning to reopen some departments in stores that were previously closed, such as the deli — with meat and cheese only to start — meat counters, seafood and bakery, as well as some self-serve stations, a statement from the company said.
The catering and prepared food section was a way for stores to create extra revenue, Junkins said.
“Now, that’s wiped away,” said Junkins, who is worried about resuming that part of his in-store business for safety reasons.
“Do we replace them, and what do we put in their place?” he said. “That’s a big question mark.”