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GIANT launches e-commerce hub, smaller-store format

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CARLISLE, Pa. — GIANT Food Stores is broadening its customer base with a new e-commerce hub here that fortifies its digital platform and a smaller-store format, introduced in Philadelphia, that the retailer will deploy in urban neighborhoods.

The grocer’s new e-commerce center offers a pickup option for shoppers who buy online, drive to the hub and have their merchandise carried to their vehicles.

GIANT said the 38,000-square-foot hub, which opened earlier this month, expands the reach of the retailer’s next-day delivery service to 40% more residents in the Lancaster, Pa., area.

The facility is the first of GIANT’s five e-commerce hubs to offer on-site pickup.

Shoppers don’t have to order digitally to use the hub — tablet computers will be available in a walk-up vestibule for order placement.

Launch of the hub coincides with a rebranding of GIANT’s omnichannel grocery operations. The new branding — GIANT Direct, Powered by Peapod — replaced the Peapod by GIANT brand. The change comes with a new logo bearing the phrase “Direct from us, to you.”

The new store format, GIANT Heirloom Market, debuted last month with the opening of a 9,500-square-foot outlet in Philadelphia’s Graduate Hospital neighborhood (See photos on page 7). Company officials said they were heartened by the initial response from shoppers. GIANT subsequently announced plans for another three Heirloom Market stores in Philadelphia later this year.

The concept promises to deliver a selection of high-quality, fresh, local, seasonal and flavor-focused food to local consumers, as well as other essentials.

Heirloom Markets will also showcase the retailer’s Nature’s Promise private brand and products from local food purveyors.

The inaugural store features an on-site produce chef to cut fresh vegetables and fruit on demand, and encourage shoppers to try new products. According to GIANT, customers at the new store encounter a vast array of plant-based food, local artisanal bread and kombucha on tap, and have the opportunity to create their very own olive oil and vinegar blends, infused with the flavors of their choice, at a do-it-yourself station. A sampling station will let consumers try out new dinner options.

The first Heirloom Market also features a curated selection of craft, imported and domestic beers and wines.

“GIANT Heirloom Market is the next chapter in our innovative growth story,” Nicholas Bertram, president of GIANT Food Stores, said in a statement the company released on the date of the store opening. “Equally as important, today’s news also supports GIANT’s commitment to the city of Philadelphia and the people who call it home. We can’t wait to introduce our GIANT Heirloom Market concept to more of the city’s unique and treasured neighborhoods.”

Each of the new Heirloom Market stores will bring a format and assortment specially curated for their neighborhoods: University City, Northern Liberties and Queen Village. Partnerships with local vendors will lend “authentic and familiar flavors” to the markets, according to the ­company statement.

First to open, next summer, will be the University City store on Chestnut Street between Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania. The store will offer easy access to fresh, convenient food for the schools’ students, faculty and administration. The Northern Liberties site will open its doors next fall on North Second Street across from the popular Schmidt’s Commons. The Queen Village location on South Street will open late this year, the company said.

Local customers will find favorites from Philadelphia‐area food purveyors such as High Street on Market, Claudio’s, Isgro Pastries and One Village Coffee.

All three new GIANT Heirloom Market stores will offer self-checkout and mobile checkout options.


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