I’ve talked before about how much I hate to grocery shop. It irritates me because I just can’t seem to find a good time to go to the store when it’s basically empty.
One thing I do to make my grocery shopping go faster is having an organized list of the things I need. But sometimes even then I dread having to go to the store.
If you live in a larger community, some grocery stores have started to combat this with drive-thru grocery stores, grocery delivery, or the option to place your order online and simply pick it up at the front of the store. I wish these were options in my small town!
But is that grocery convenience really worth it? Here are a few things to consider before you sign up for any type of grocery convenience service.
A drive-thru grocery store, called Zoomin Market, opened up in Olathe Kansas in 2014. Zoomin’ Market does not charge a fee for gathering items and bringing them to your vehicle. However, there is no way around the added time it takes for a worker to gather the items to be delivered to your car.
Logic tells us the business has to either absorb the extra cost by losing a portion of their profits, or raise their prices on food and other items to cover this expense. The same could also be said for a grocery delivery service, but now you are adding the extra cost of fuel and travel time too.
A good friend of mine also brought up the use of coupons. Would you be able to use coupons on your purchases if you ordered groceries online and picked them up at the front of the store? If not, this could significantly increase your grocery spending.
Another major drawback that could defer me from ever using a grocery convenience service is lack of product choice. You are placing your trust in a clerk to make a wise choice for you in terms of freshness of your goods, like fruits and vegetables. I know I’d be really peeved if I ended up with fruit that was squishy in just a few days due to bad selections made by the workers.
Another downside for either a delivery or drive through grocery store would be returns. Since a worker is the one choosing the item for you without your having seen it first, what if you aren’t happy with their choice? How do they handle returns? Will they come to your house to exchange or refund the rejected item, or will you have to make a trip back to the store and waste extra gas as well as time in a line waiting to complete a return or exchange? These concerns would need to be addressed for any grocery convenience store to become a successful, lasting business.
Some grocery stores already deliver items to you, but at an added fee to cover their time and expense to do so. This can use up a portion of your budget, which leads me to the conclusion that some shoppers will avoid this option altogether and stick to traditional grocery shopping.
Minimums & Maximums
What about minimums? For instance, some grocery delivery services charge an extra fee for delivering less than $50 of goods. However, for a drive-thru grocery store, I would think the reverse would be true. If the number of desired items reaches a certain point, the cost to retrieve, handle, and deliver the items to your car could warrant an extra fee.
Even though many of us dislike spending the time and energy required to purchase our own groceries, the downsides of grocery convenience are enough to convince me to continue shopping the traditional way, at least for now.
Does your town have any grocery convenience options? Have you ever used them?