How Meijer delivers groceries straight to your door

Home delivery will be available in West Michigan starting March 29

Julie Coop, Shipt, Meijer
At the Detroit Meijer, Julie Coop of Shipt gathers groceries to be delivered to a customer's home. (March 22, 2017)

DETROIT (WOOD) — Meijer stores across West Michigan will begin offering home delivery next week.

“We believe that convenience is the new price,” said Art Sebastian, Meijer’s director of digital shopping.

For $99 per year, subscribers can get unlimited grocery deliveries on orders over $35.

Meijer is partnering with an app called Shipt to provide the employees who shop for and deliver the groceries.

The supermarket giant started testing the service last fall at its first Detroit store, located at the old state fairgrounds site at 8 Mile Road and Woodward Avenue — and Detroit is buying in. Some 65,000 orders have been placed and delivered since the September launch.

Meijer, Detroit
The Meijer located at the intersection of 8 Mile Road and Woodward Avenue in Detroit. (March 22, 2017)

“Shipt has been a big hit in Detroit. Immediately after we launched, we had such a great demand we had to hire 200 more shoppers the second week,” said Julie Coop of Shipt.

Customers can specify in the Shipt app how they want their produce to look.

“If my member wanted ripe bananas, she could say, ‘I want really yellow bananas.’ Or if she wanted some that were going to be good for a few days, she would say green. In this case, she didn’t specify, so we’ll find a happy medium. She wants five bananas,” Coop showed 24 Hour News 8 as she shopped for a customer at the Detroit Meijer on Wednesday.

Julie Coop, Shipt, Meijer
Cooper gathers groceries. (March 22, 2017)

Sebastian, Meijer’s director of digital shopping, says home delivery has been popular with a variety of customers from college students to mothers with kids at home to senior citizens. He explained that the app will get to know those customers.

“The app is built with technology so that over time we learn what you buy and what you like, so we’re able to personalize that experience for you directly in the app,” Sebastian said.

Working with the app, Shipt employees will confirm that you’ll get what you ordered. As Coop shopped on Wednesday, she found herself with a question, so she scanned a UPC to make sure she was buying the right thing.

When she had collected everything on the customer’s order, she went through the checkout lane just like everyone else. She paid with a pre-loaded cash card from Shipt so her customer wouldn’t have to give her any money directly.

Julie Coop, Shipt, Meijer
Coop goes through the checkout lane. (March 22, 2017)

Then she got in her car and headed off to her destination. About 10 minutes later, she arrived at the Berkley home of Ryan and Amber Weston with their groceries.

The Westons have been on board with Meijer home delivery since day one.

“We both work a ton with three kids. It’s just kind of like another chore where to get them out and to get them to the grocery store, to finish shopping, get home, unpack, it’s like three hours,” Amber Weston said.

That chore used to fall to her, but now that they have delivery, her husband is getting involved, too.

“I’ve come home from hockey at midnight, 12:30, one o’clock (a.m.). I’ll have the groceries scheduled to come at one o’clock when I get home,” Ryan Weston said.

Shipt will deliver groceries 24 hours a day.

The Westons say the service has cut down on their grocery bill, too. As parents know, when you shop with your kids, you always end up with something extra in the cart.

The service rolls out to the Grand Rapids market on March 29. If your zip code is covered, Shipt will deliver to your home.

Home delivery will roll out to the Indianapolis and Fort Wayne, Ind. markets next month and all Meijer markets by the fall. The service is expected to create 10,000 jobs in six states in 2017.

A courtesy image shows the coverage map for Meijer Shipt deliveries.