Sometimes, a trip to your local supermarket just isn't in the cards, and browsing the digital aisles available on an app is easier than navigating the physical aisles of the store. Though grocery delivery isn't as popular right now as it was during the height of the pandemic, this convenient perk hasn't disappeared. In fact, retailers are continuing to innovate in the delivery space, and Costco is currently testing a new program that could prove to be a convenient choice for members.
The pilot service teases speedy deliveries of all the items you love to buy in bulk, thanks to a partnership with Uber and Uber Eats. With a minimum order of $35 or more on the Uber or Uber Eats apps, members can purportedly get their items delivered within hours, if not minutes, later.
It's important to remember that this is a pilot program, meaning the service isn't currently available at every Costco warehouse. Right now, only members shopping at 25 different warehouses across Texas can participate. However, there are already plans to add seven more locations to the test in the weeks ahead.
Though this is Uber's first partnership with a wholesale retailer in the U.S., the tech company is already working with a national supermarket chain. Uber recently teamed up with Albertson's, a move that added more than 400 cities and towns to its grocery offering.
This isn't Costco's only delivery option, but it expands the menu of choices already available to members. They include the company's same-day grocery delivery via Instacart and free 2-day delivery on orders of $75 or more.
"Our mission statement at Costco is to take care of our members. By finding solutions to deliver merchandise quickly and efficiently, we continue to offer our members value, convenience, and member service," Ron Vachris, the retailer's executive vice president of merchandising, said.
Costco is likely hoping that this test performs better than its curbside pickup pilot did. The initiative kicked off at three warehouses in New Mexico in January 2021. Initially, CFO Richard Galanti said the pilot was going "well," and basket sizes had "actually surpassed our expectations." But only a few months later, his tune seemingly changed. "The utilization has not set the world on fire in terms of where it's trending," Galanti said.
By the summer, rumors began swirling that the program would end without a nationwide expansion. A document circulating on Reddit said, "We have made the decision to discontinue curbside pickup effective the close of business on Saturday, July 31." Eat This, Not That! reached out to Costco earlier this month to determine the authenticity of the letter, but the warehouse chain declined to comment at the time. The website for the service remained operational as of July 21.
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