Though Costco has maintained throughout the COVID-19 pandemic that space limitations have made offering curbside delivery services at its stores next to impossible, the big-box chain has finally given in, announcing in January the launch of a curbside pickup pilot program at three locations in New Mexico:
- Curbside pickup has exploded during the pandemic as a way to make customers, who are shopping online more than ever before, feel comfortable and safe visiting stores and to limit in-store traffic.
- According to the Freedonia Group’s National Online Consumer Survey (conducted November – December 2020), 35% of respondents noted reported having used grocery store curbside pickup for the first time because of the coronavirus pandemic.
- As COVID-19 cases continue to climb in the US and new, more highly transmissible variants of the virus develop, more people are asking if even weekly grocery shopping trips are took risky.
- As a result, expanding digital ordering, delivery, and pickup capabilities is expected to remain a key focus of grocery retailers – especially large national chains like Costco and Walmart, but increasingly smaller and midsized local and regional chains as well.
From Packaging to Refrigeration Equipment, Grocery E-Commerce Is Creating Opportunities
Recent research from the Freedonia Group identifies finds rising use of online grocery services is boosting demand for a range of products, from packaging to commercial refrigeration equipment. For more information and discussion of opportunities, see Freedonia’s extensive collection of off-the-shelf research, as well as related reports from our sister publisher, Packaged Facts.