Demand for online grocery delivery and pick-up has surged amid social distancing protocols during the COVID-19 outbreak. While many stores have made efforts to implement things like curb-side delivery and ramp up their online grocery efforts, one of the biggest players has been noticeably quiet: Trader Joe's. Now the company is shedding some light on why it won't be getting into the grocery delivery game any time soon.
In an episode of its podcast Inside Trader Joe's, which was previously reported on by SF Gate, the company said that it has stayed away from things like delivery and curbside pickup because "those offerings don't always translate into positive results."
"Creating an online shopping system for curbside pickup or the infrastructure for delivery, it's a massive undertaking," vice president of marketing for Trader Joe's Matt Sloan said:
It's something that takes months or years to plan, build and implement and it requires tremendous resources. Well, at Trader Joe's, the reality is that over the last couple of decades we've invested those resources in our people rather than build an infrastructure that eliminates the need for people.
This echos a similar sentiment a rep from Trader Joe's recently gave to CNN when they asked about possibility of grocery delivery, as some experts called for customers to be banned from stores in order to keep grocery workers safe.
"[Our] systems are not set up in a way that would allow us to be able to offer these services, and at the same time maintain our commitment to offering value to our customers," the statement read in part.
In the podcast, the team at Trader Joe's went on to say that they will continue to focus on hiring more staff.
"While other retailers were cutting staff and adding things like self checkout, curbside pickup and outsourcing delivery options, we were hiring more crew, and we continue to do that," Trader Joe's marketing director Tara Miller said: "We know that this period of distancing will end and when it does, our crew will be in our stores to help you find your next favorite product, just as they've always been."
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