Westfield Kroger to implement new pickup service

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A rendering of Kroger’s new pickup area. (Submitted photo)

A rendering of Kroger’s new pickup area. (Submitted photo)

By Navar Watson

 

The Kroger Company is experimenting with a new online pickup service, and the Westfield location on the southwest side of the city at 150 W. 161st St. plans to be among the first to test it out.

The economic and community development department, along with Mark Salma of the Kroger Co. Central Division Real Estate office, introduced the idea of an E-Commerce program at the city council meeting July 13, as the project requires an amendment to the Spring Mill Station Northeast Quadrant PUD.

“The grocery industry is really the last industry to not really have embraced online ordering,” Salma said, mentioning sites like Amazon that compete against traditional shopping.

The program would allow customers to pre-order their groceries online, arrive at the store in a designated parking space and have their groceries delivered to their car. Kroger employees would do all the shopping and bagging from the time the order is processed to the moment the customer arrives.

“The goal with the program is that the customer never leaves the [car],” Salma said. “They’re in and out in about 90 seconds.”

The project requires half an acre to the north side of the store.

With this space, Kroger plans to create four designated parking spaces under a canopy. Having considered anywhere from two to 10 parking spots, Salma and his team figured four would be ideal for the start. They anticipate a good reception.

“Interestingly, Indiana has been identified as a priority market for the program,” Salma said.

Furthermore, after ranking store locations across the nation, the marketing group behind the initiative anticipated this Westfield store to have the most positive reception, Salma said.

The Kroger company plans to open 10 pickup services within the market this year and 60 more next year. The project is still in the early planning stages, so logistics like operating hours and staffing have yet to be determined.

A public hearing on the matter is scheduled for 7 p.m. Aug. 3 at City Hall, 130 Penn St., Westfield. Kroger also plans to hold a neighborhood meeting with nearby residents.


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