Until relatively recently, shoppers’ grocery options were limited to what was available at their most convenient brick-and-mortar store. Today, tens of millions of Americans can shop for groceries online, where their options include curbside pickup and home delivery. Many formidable players are now competing for e-grocery dominance.
Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods Market in 2017 gave the e-commerce giant new credibility in fresh grocery and allowed the expansion of immediate Amazon Fresh service to new markets. Instacart, which launched in 2012, has expanded rapidly and can reach more than 80 percent of US households.
In response, many traditional grocers are rapidly expanding their online operations (Exhibit 1). For example, Walmart has been expanding its online-order offering, with same-day delivery from 1,600 stores and pick up from 3,100 locations as of November 2019. 7 Kroger has expanded its pickup locations for online orders to 1,900 locations and offers delivery of online-ordered groceries from 2,300 locations.