January 31, 2011, 4:30 PM

Meijer steps into online grocery delivery

The retailer now delivers non-perishable grocery items to customers in 50 states.

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Midwest retail chain Meijer Inc. is reaching beyond its regional stores to launch a grocery delivery site to serve customers in all 50 states, as well as some living outside the U.S. The company announced that its new site, MeijerDoorstepGrocer.com, now offers about 5,000 non-perishable products such as cereal, shampoo, baby supplies and canned goods.

“This is a very important step for our e-commerce operations,” says Rick Keyes, executive vice president of supply chain operations and e-commerce for Meijer, No. 362 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide . “While we have provided bulk grocery and multipack products in the past, Meijer is now able to serve a broader audience with a greater number of selections. This new site will truly have something for everyone, including international customers.”

Meijer.com started offering international deliveries of the mass merchant’s non-grocery merchandis during the recent holiday season and MeijerDoorstepGrocer.com will be the retailer’s first site offering grocery items internationally, the company says.

Meijer will service U.S. orders from its warehouse in Lansing, MI, says Dawn Bronkema, director of e-commerce marketing. The facility’s racking, pick and pack systems and conveyors were recently upgraded to accommodate new orders.

The retailer is working with shipping and fulfillment company International Checkout to handle orders from outside the U.S. The company provides services to 250 locations worldwide in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Australia.

Meijer, which operates about 195 stores in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky, will charge $7.95 and up for shipping orders in the U.S. Shipping costs are calculated based on the value of the individual order. Most deliveries are received within two to four days of ordering, and there is no minimum order requirement for delivery, the company says. For a limited time, Meijer is offering a 10% discount on orders exceeding $100.

In 2009, Meijer began testing its Grocery Express program that enabled customers to order groceries online then pick them up curbside at stores at a scheduled time. Customers create a shopping list at MeijerGroceryExpress.com, then choose the time and day they want to pick up their orders, allowing at least four hours of advance notice. At the scheduled time, the consumer goes to the store she selected and Meijer employees load the groceries into her car.

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