By JACK WEATHERLY
Rival grocery giants Kroger and Walmart are rolling out online shopping programs in the Jackson area.
The concept is designed to save time for shoppers just as the grocers battle to hold prices down for customers.
For now, Kroger’s QuickList has next-day pickup, but soon it’ll be same-day, according to Marcus Hamilton, e-commerce field specialist.
Hamilton declined to give specifics on how many orders have been filled since the service started in metro Jackson, but said “the numbers are good” and that both Jackson-area stores are meeting expectations.
Bethany Haynes and her 3-month-old daughter, Liora, were leaving the Kroger in Jacksonian Square on Monday. She was asked if she knew about the new program. She said she did, but that hadn’t had time to sign up.
“It sounds appealing, being a new mom,” said the Jackson resident. “I’ll have to be more strategic in my meal planning,” she said.
Orders can be placed by going to kroger.com/onlineshopping and selecting a store and listing the items.
The items are then brought by a store employee to be picked up at a designated spot on the parking lot.
Kroger entered the Jackson market last week, beating Walmart by a few days.
Krogers at 1070 Highway 51 in Madison, 6745 S. Siwell Road in Byram and in 3408 Pemberton Square Boulevard in Vicksburg offer the service, in addition to a store in Hernando and one in Southaven.
The Cincinnati-based chain started offering the service in the Midwest last year.
Reviews have been generally complimentary,, according to published accounts.
Lisa Murtha, writing in Cincinnati Magazine, endorses the service, but offers a few helpful tips.
She says if you wait till the day before “you risk all the time slots being full, or being left with a few random time choices that don’t work with your schedule.”
Further, she writes, her experience has been that “as soon as your time is reserved, you have until midnight that same day to load items into your [virtual] cart. If you do not officially place your order by midnight, you lose both your cart contents and your time slot, and have to start over.”
She said placing an order for her family of five takes her about 40 minutes, and, with a 10-15-minute wait at the pickup site, she cuts her shopping time in half.
The first three QuickList orders are free. After that, it’s $4.95 per order. There is no minimum order, said Teresa Dickerson, public relations manager for Kroger’s Delta Division.
Walmart, meantime, began its rollout in the state on Monday.
And it is one-up on its rival in one regard. The service is free.But there is a $30 minimum purchase.
Stores in Pearl at 5520 Highway 80 East, Clinton at 950 Highway 80 East and Flowood at 5341 Highway 25 now offer the service.
Orders are placed at walmart.com/grocery or though a Walmart Grocery mobile app.
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