Grocery shopping without braving the grocery store is becoming a widespread option in Juneau.
However, so far, not too many are taking advantage of grocery pickup or grocery deliveries where they are available.
“We’re really trying to get the word out,” said J.P. Ouderkerk, acting store manager for Super Bear SupermarketIGA.
Oudekerk said for the decade he’s been with Super Bear Supermarket IGA, the grocery store has found creative ways to get people their groceries, but in the last year or so, picking up groceries has become a more streamlined option on the store’s website.
“It’s not really big yet,”Ouderkerk said, “but so far, I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. It’s worked out great so far.”
“It’s just so new to Juneau,” he added.
Fred Meyer Pickup, also known as Clicklist is a similar service that’s also still picking up steam. The program has been around for about three years now, but only offered at Juneau’s Fred Meyer since August, Goodno said.
Both services allow shoppers to fill a digital cart with groceries, provide payment information and setup a reservation for when they would like to pick up their grocery orders. At Super Bear Supermarket IGA, the groceries are then available to be picked up near the front of the store, and at Fred Meyer, the groceries are brought to the waiting vehicle.
“I think most folks are still learning about it,” said Alishia Goodno, lead Clicklist clerk for Juneau’s Fred Meyer.
Last week, Goodno said there were 149 total orders, Goodno said, and 33 of them were new.
“It was one of our busiest weeks,” Goodno said.
The relative unpopularity of online grocery shopping isn’t strictly a Juneau thing, according to a Gallup poll from July.
The poll found more than 80 percent of U.S. adults grocery shop at least once a week, while only 4 percent of those polled reported grocery shopping online with that frequency.
However, that hasn’t stopped grocery stores from making non-physical shopping a possibility.
Even places where pickup isn’t fully available, offer options.
Rick Wilson, Foodland IGA store manager, said grocery pickup is something that can be worked out for elderly customers, and it’s something that may expand.
Costco does not offer grocery pickup, but small valuable items such as laptops or jewelry may be ordered from Costco’s website and held at the store, said Mark Pincikowski, front-end manager for Costco.
“During the holidays, people liked to do that to make sure it was here and so they wouldn’t have to be home to pick up a delivery,” Pincikowski said.
While pickup service may be attractive to people who have trouble getting around due to age or disabilities, Goodno said Clicklist is proving to be most popular with a different population.
“A lot of it is moms not wanting to bring their kids in the store,” Goodno said.
Grocery deliveries also are an option available through some local retailers, and they’re not yet particularly popular.
Oudekerk said customers can reach out through Super Bear’s website or call in grocery deliveries. Depending on the order’s destination, the delivery can be made from Super Bear or Foodland IGA.
“We’ve got a (delivery) team up with Foodland, if someone is located in Douglas or downtown,”Ouderkerk said.
He said there is currently no charge for deliveries made in town, but out-of-town shipping does include a fee. That can vary based on distance.
The service Instacart also delivers groceries from Costco and Safeway in some parts of Juneau — 99801 ZIP codes are accepted as a valid option. It expanded to Juneau in early September after coming to Alaska in the end of May.
Additional charges are added by the service for deliveries.
“It was implemented a couple of months ago,” Pincikowski said. “It hasn’t been heavily used.”
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