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Natural Foods Merchandiser

Peapod expands virtual grocery stores

Peapod expands virtual grocery stores
From virtual stores to order pickup, continues to add new ways to serve the online grocery customer. announced today its plans to launch more than 100 virtual grocery stores at commuter rail stations in Boston, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Chicago.

The virtual store billboards feature pictures of products (see Peapod in action) in a grocery aisle-like image and QR codes that lead users to download the PeapodMobile app. Shoppers then scan bar codes printed by the pictured products to place an order.

Peapod serves each market differently. For instance, according to a Peapod press release, East Coast virtual store ads feature staples such as coffee, soft drinks, cereal, milk, bread, and fresh fruits and vegetables. In Chicago, virtual stores feature Peapod's selection of "Chicago's Best" prepared foods sourced from 30 of the city's favorite restaurants and hometown brands.

Peapod launched the virtual commuter shopping experience in Chicago in May.

The Internet grocer also recently announced that it will open pick-up locations in the Chicago area so customers don't need to wait for delivery, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune.

It's a decided change in direction for Peapod, which was started in Evanston in 1989, became a wholly owned subsidiary of Royal Ahold in 2001 and until two weeks ago, offered only grocery delivery. Late last month, Peapod began offering pick-up service at a Boston-area Stop & Shop.
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