Peapod Opening Chicago-area Pickup Sites

Web-based grocer Peapod, known for its home delivery, plans to open three locations in Chicago’s northwest suburbs where customers can pick up their grocery orders.

The Skokie, Ill.-based division of Royal Ahold is scheduled to open pick-up sites in Palatine in early October and Schaumburg later that month; a third location will open in Deerfield in early December, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Peapod offered only home delivery until a couple of weeks ago, when the company began offering pick-up service through one of Ahold’s Stop & Shop supermarkets in the Boston area. “Our customers are just on the go customers and we’re just offering them another option,” Peapod spokeswoman Elana Margolis told the Tribune.

Customers who live within a 10-mile radius of the three locations will be allowed to choose to pick up their orders in one-hour time slots. “We want to be able to control how many people are coming through the pick-up location,” Margolis said.

Pick-up service will initially be free; there will eventually be a $2.95 fee, compared to delivery fees that start at $6.95.

The freestanding pick-up locations will be Peapod’s second initiative this year to broaden its reach in the Chicago area. In May, the company rolled out interactive grocery store “shelves” at a rapid transit station at which consumers could use smartphones to scan and buy items for delivery. That program ended in July but a similar initiative is expected this fall.

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