Online Grocery Lives

Oct 07, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Webvan, Streamline and Publix may not have made a go at online groceries but that hasn’t stopped others from aggressively going after the affluent and time-pressed consumers
who want the service.

According to a San Jose Mercury News report, “Companies continuing to build a presence online say their customers are busy professionals, people with health problems,
families with newborns, even companies pulling together a business lunch. Because Americans are so time-starved, some industry analysts believe that online grocery shopping is
here to stay.”

The failures of Webvan and others, have taught survivors and recent entrants into the online grocery market where to avoid pitfalls. “Excesses contributed to Webvan’s failure,
industry analysts said, including free-wheeling spending on state-of-the-art centralized warehouses, fleets of delivery trucks and drivers, and attempts to service a whopping
26 markets in the United States.”

Moderator’s Comment: How can a company going into online grocery sales be successful doing it?

One solution is to have customers order and do their own pickups. The delivery aspect of the business has always been tricky and expensive. [George
Anderson – Moderator

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