Publix Super Markets Inc. plans to drop its curbside grocery service after it fell short of expectations. The Southeast grocer began testing "Publix Curbside" in 2010 and currently offers the service at a Citrus Park location in Tampa, Fla., and two Atlanta sites.
The initiative will end on Jan. 28.
“We made the decision to discontinue our curbside service, as we did not have the volume of consistent customers to call the initiative successful,” Publix Media and Community Relations Director Maria Brous told Progressive Grocer. “In addition, as a privately owned and operated company, we have a responsibility to our stockholders to make the best business decisions for our long term success.”
Continued Brous: “As a retailer known for customer service and our family-oriented stores, our customers enjoy the interaction with our associates and the shopping experience we have worked hard to create over the past 81 years.” Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix operates more than 1,000 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and Tennessee.
The curbside service allowed customers to place grocery orders by phone or online and have the items delivered to their car for a flat $7.99 fee. Orders were to be placed at least four hours in advance to give "personal shoppers" the time to gather items.
This wasn’t Publix’s first online venture. In 2001, the chain tested a home delivery service in south Florida called PublixDirect, but ended it two years later, also because of underperformance.