Inside This Issue - News
Virtual grocery store launched by Peapod
May 14th, 2012
CHICAGO – Peapod Inc., the online grocery delivery arm of Ahold USA, has introduced the first virtual grocery store in this country in a major commuter train station here.
Now shoppers with smartphones whose commute takes them through the highly traveled State and Lake Station Tunnel can scan, order and schedule groceries for home or office delivery. By scanning a QR code, iPhone and iPad or Android users can download a free PeapodMobile app on the spot and begin shopping immediately by scanning product codes.
The walls of the tunnel are covered with seven-foot high pictures of grocery shelves stocked with products from such major suppliers as Coca-Cola Co., Barilla, Procter & Gamble Co., Kimberly-Clark Corp. and Reckitt Benckiser. Products offered range from paper towels and diapers to fresh produce.
"Chicagoans spend, on average, more than an hour commuting to and from work each day," says Mike Brennan, chief operating officer of Peapod. "That’s well over 200 hours a year in transit time alone.
"Peapod’s virtual store program for commuter rail stations is a creative, convenient way for passengers to multitask and knock out their grocery shopping on the go."
The Chicago initiative builds on experience Peapod gained earlier this year in Philadelphia, where the nation’s largest Internet grocery partnered with Titan transit advertising to enable commuters to scan barcodes for items on ads in several of the city’s commuter train stations.
Consumers who download the PeapodMobile app have access to more than 12,000 branded and private label products, including such perishables as produce, meat and seafood, prepared foods, and organic and specialty foods, as well as wine and beer.
The virtual supermarkets by Peapod follow the path pioneered last year by Tesco PLC, the largest grocery and retailer in the United Kingdom. Tesco set up virtual shopping facilities for its Homeplus operation in subway stations in Seoul, South Korea.
As in the Peapod initiatives, Korean shoppers can scan QR codes on items, pay for them and have them delivered to their homes. Products are displayed in bright photo transparencies that are well backlit. The displays are located on train platforms.