It’s easy as a reporter to get wrapped up in your own little corner of the world. If you aren’t careful, you confuse your own experiences as a stand-in for everyone’s experience. This is obviously myopic and wrong.
I thought about my potential short-sightedness upon reading Vox’s scoop yesterday that Walmart plans to launch its Amazon Prime-like subscription service this month. Dubbed Walmart+, it comes with a bunch of benefits for subscribers including same-day grocery delivery.
Neither Walmart nor Amazon deliver groceries to my rural neighborhood, so the news doesn’t affect me personally, but even if they did, I don’t think I’d use grocery delivery. My local grocer delivers, as does Safeway, but I eschew them for curbside pickup. Mostly because curbside seems to be more flexible both in time slots available and how I spend my time (tying a bunch of out-of-house errands together). Oh, and curbside pickup is also free.
I’m also not interested in doing my grocery shopping in-store anytime soon, as this pandemic doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. I realize the risk of contracting the virus while shopping is low, but when curbside pickup is so fast, so easy and so contacless, why bother roaming the aisles and standing in line with all those other people (who may or may not be wearing a mask)? Plus, more people shopping in-store seems to put more grocery workers at risk.
But I understand why people would want delivery or to shop in-store. Delivery is great for people with limited mobility, family considerations or otherwise can’t physically make it to a store. And while I don’t want to set foot in a store, my wife masks up and has gone in on two occasions because she wanted to pick out her own fresh produce.
So I’m curious, how are you, dear Spoon reader, handling your grocery shopping during this pandemic? Are you doing delivery, curbside pickup, or shopping in-store?
The question isn’t just about fear of contracting the coronavirus, it’s also about technology and convenience. Retailers seem to have worked out the kinks that beset online grocery order fulfillment early on during the pandemic. Instacart added hundreds of thousands of gig workers to shop and deliver orders. Amazon’s first full-on grocery store in Woodland Hills, CA went dark so it could focus on fulfilling online orders. And non-traditional companies like restaurant food suppliers have gotten into the consumer grocery delivery game to fill some gaps.
But my question remains, given the choice between delivery, curbside or in-store, how are you getting your groceries? I’d honestly love to know how you handle it in your corner of the world.