March 21, 2008, 12:00 AM

Oklahomans say OK to new online grocery service

Oklahoma-based supermarket chain Food Pyramid launched a new online shopping service this week, the first in the state, it says, and residents are excited.

Oklahoma-based supermarket chain Food Pyramid has launched a new online shopping and delivery service this week, the first in the state, it says, and residents are excited. In fact, response to the program was so positive that the chain extended its delivery service beyond the originally planned Tulsa area to include neighboring towns Jenks and Broken Arrow-- before the service even began.

About 30 customers placed online orders the first day, says Rob Marsh, director of planning and development for RPCS Inc., owner of Food Pyramid. By the next morning, shoppers had placed an additional 60 orders, he says.

Customers place orders at and choose to either pick up their groceries from a list of six locations for a $5 fee or have their groceries delivered for $10. There is no minimum order. Ordering requires registration, but creating an account allows shoppers to save their shopping cart and access it later. Food Pyramid uses Concord Payment Systems to process online transactions, Marsh says.

Four full-time employees are assigned to the program, Marsh says. Two make deliveries and two fill orders and manage in-store pickups. “They just print out the list and walk up and down the aisle as if they were regular shoppers,” Marsh says. The six-supermarket chain pulls items for all online orders from one store.

The new shopping and delivery service is a sequel to a similar program RPCS launched in Springfield and Joplin, MO, with its Price Cutter Plus Stores in 2006 and 2007.

“We’ve received outstanding feedback from customers already utilizing our online shopping services in Missouri, and we’ve been anxious to offer the same service to residents of Tulsa,” March says. RPCS operates more than 43 grocery stores and 29 pharmacies in Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma.

Jupiter Research predicts online grocery sales in the U.S. will amount to about $7 billion this year, 1% of total grocery sales.

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