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The Journal Gazette

September 22, 2016 1:03 AM

Kroger launches online shopping

Buy items, pick up orders at city's Marketplace stores

Sherry Slater | The Journal Gazette

Local couch potatoes can now stock up on sweet potatoes by going online.

Kroger is rolling out a concierge service that allows customers of its two local Marketplace stores and its Warsaw store to go to the retailer’s website, click on the grocery items they want to buy and pick them up in front of the store, officials announced Wednesday. 

The address is www.kroger.com/clicklist.

Meijer, which operates three local stores, launched online order and curbside pickup at its Lima Road store in June and is considering expanding the program to other locations, a spokeswoman said. The cost is $6.99 per order, a price the retailer believes is competitive because of what a Meijer spokeswoman described as everyday low prices and perks offered to regular customers.

For a $4.95 service fee, Cincinnati-based Kroger will have employees pull the items off store shelves and have them in a cart and ready for pick up during a reserved one-hour window.

Early Wednesday afternoon, the first available time slot for the Village of Coventry store was 7 to 8 a.m. today. Kroger spokesman Eric Halvorson said pickups will typically be ready the following day – unless a customer chooses to schedule it further out. 

Shoppers park in a designated clicklist area, call the number on the sign to alert employees they have arrived and an employee loads the groceries into the customer’s car. Customers pay by swiping their credit or debit card at the time of pick up.

The retailer will wave the fee the first three times a shopper uses the service.

Kroger tested clicklist in Cincinnati for the past two years before testing it in Indianapolis this year, said Katie Wolfram, Central Division president. The program, she said, was a hit with customers. Officials plan to continue tweaking the service in response to customer and employee feedback, she added in a statement.

Kroger’s third Fort Wayne Marketplace store is on pace to open early next year.

The retailer is spending about $14 million to increase the size of its St. Joe Center Road store to more than 123,500 square feet from 79,100. The expansion is creating about 150 new jobs for a total of about 350 in the store.

Halvorson expects the newest store to offer clicklist when it opens.

sslater@jg.net