Home grocery delivery: Time for a quantum leap?

Here’s a comment from a recent RetailWire discussion about home delivery of groceries. The question posed to panelists was whether 2014 will be the year in which we see “critical mass” for this segment. Despite its rapid growth, especially in high-density urban areas, I don’t believe this is “the year”:

I’m not sure that 2014 will be the breakout year, but it’s easy to foresee that logistics-minded companies like Amazon and Walmart will continue to build share in home delivery at the expense of traditional grocers. One way to combat this is to develop a hybrid model, in which the shopper can preorder packaged goods packed and ready for pickup at the specific time that she or he comes to the store to select fresh produce.

At the same time, it’s clear that great food merchants like Whole Foods and The Fresh Market continue to grow their models, based in part on the sensory pleasure and impulse buying that drives a lot of the business.

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