As of May 25, the Grand Haven, Muskegon, Holland, Benton Harbor, Stevensville and South Haven Meijer stores will offer delivery on more than 55,000 items, from groceries to health and beauty aids.
Meijer has teamed up with Shipt to offer the service. Customers can download the Shipt app on their tablet or smartphone, or go to www.shipt.com to order everything from fresh produce, meat, canned goods, milk, dog food, baby items, cleaning and laundry supplies, shampoo and more.
There's a $99 annual membership fee, or $14 per month, but no charge for delivery of orders over $35. You select when you want the order delivered, and items can arrive as soon as an hour after ordering.
Art Sebastian, Meijer Corporation director of digital shopping, said the service has received rave reviews since launching in Detroit last September and in Grand Rapids on March 29.
“We've delivered over 125,000 orders already,” Sebastion said. “Our customers are telling us they like it. We like to think of it as the ultimate convenience for customers. They can order anytime, anywhere, and have it delivered wherever they would like.”
Sebastian said the expansion will bring “hundreds” of new jobs for personal shoppers to the lakeshore. Delivery will also be available in Traverse City beginning May 23.
“You're always going to have customers in Grand Haven that are going to want to come into the store,” Sebastian said. “There will be some who want this new convenience. This is great for people who live in the area year-round, (and) those who vacation in Grand Haven.”
The service will even deliver to campsites and marinas.
Sebastian said the delivery area is about a 20-minute driving distance to the store, which includes Spring Lake and Ferrysburg.
“The personal shopper that is shopping on behalf of the customers is in communication via text,” Sebastian said. “What we're really excited about is the personal shopper is very focused on customer service, with everything from recommendations or checking in one last time before checking out to make sure the customer didn't forget anything.”
Personal shoppers are paid per order, making on average, $14 to $17 per hour, not including tips — which are optional.
“This will bring hundreds of jobs across the lakeshore,” Sebastian said of the independent contractor positions. “We're excited about that because it gives people flexible work.”
Sebastian said he's most excited for Meijer customers.
“It makes life a lot easier,” he said. “Who wouldn't want one to two hours back a week. As we approach the summer months, you can get that time back to go for a walk or get out on the water.”
Sebastian said in studying trends, it's clear online shopping is the wave of the present, and future.
“This is about Meijer giving customers more ways to shop and proactively addressing their need to save time,” Sebastian said. “In the several months we've been doing this, it's been well received. The personal shoppers are the secret sauce to making this work for customers.”
For more information on becoming a personal shopper, visit Meijer.com/shipt or shipt.com.
Joe Hirschmugl, Meijer public relations manager, said customers can visit the store’s website to enter their zip code to make sure they are within the designated delivery area.
“We've already seen this service deemed very handy,” Hirschmugl said. “Anyone who is time starved or may have trouble getting around the store can benefit from the service.”