Publix Abandoning Curbside Service
In August of 2003, Publix Super Markets announced it was closing its online grocery and home delivery business, roughly two years after launching the service.
In August of 2010, Publix came back with a test of a new online service allowing consumers to drive to a store for a pickup at curbside for a $7.99 service fee in addition to the cost of groceries. Now, the grocery chain has announced it is abandoning the test.
Publix spokesperson Shannon Patten said the reason for the move was straightforward. Publix Curbside, while having some fans, did not generate enough business to warrant going ahead with the service.
"The number of consistent customers who chose to use this service was considerably less than required to meet our predetermined expectations," Ms. Patten said in an email. "The majority of our customers love their Publix and still prefer to have the interaction with our associates."
A RetailWire poll at the time of the Publix Curbside launch found respondents split on performance expectations for the service. Fifty percent said it would be very or somewhat likely to succeed, while 43 percent thought it somewhat or very unlikely to succeed. Seven percent were not sure or had no opinion.
- Publix to End Curbside Service – The Ledger
- Publix cancels curbside grocery service – The Tampa Tribune
- Publix is Back Online – RetailWire
Discussion Questions: Does the decision by Publix to drop its Curbside service have broader implications for online grocery as a whole? How confident are you about the future of online grocery in the U.S.?