Southeast Michigan residents soon will have another option to get their groceries without leaving home.
Starting Sept. 15, smartphone app Shipt and Grand Rapids-based Meijer will partner to offer delivery grocery services of 55,000 items seven days a week. Deliveries from 24-hour Meijer locations will be made available to shoppers around the clock and orders can be delivered in as little as one hour.
Representatives for both companies told The Detroit News that 25 Meijer stores in Metro Detroit will offer the service, which constitute the majority of stores in the region.
Art Sebastian, director of digital shopping, said the new service builds on curbside pick-up service Meijer launched early in 2015 in Grand Rapids. The service expanded to 14 Michigan stores within a year, and the company has plans to offer the service at 33 locations in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Ohio by the end of the year.
“We have seen weekly (curbside) orders continue to increase,” Sebastian said. “Technology enables consumers to live differently and behave differently.”
The service requires a Shipt membership, which costs $99 annually or $14 monthly. If a customer orders more than $35 of goods through the app, there’s no delivery fee. Orders of less than $35 will have a $7 fee tacked on.
Once an order is submitted through the app, a Shipt contractor will go to the closest Meijer, shop, check out and deliver the groceries in a one-hour time window selected by the customer. Customers can order anything from baby, health and beauty products to fresh groceries or pet food, representatives said.
“I think it’s awesome for older people and people who can’t get to the grocery store,” said Barbara Mitchell of Detroit as she loaded grocery bags in her car at the Meijer store on Little Mack in Roseville. “There are millions of people who aren’t capable.”
Stacey Sipes of Eastpointe said she probably wouldn’t sign up for the service due to the cost.
“It would be nice, but I’m cheap,” Sipes said.
Linda Gobler, president and CEO of the Michigan Grocers Association, said grocery stores are firing up new shopping options as the business becomes more competitive. The new services also keep grocers out ahead of online retailers such as Amazon.
Amazon ships dry goods such cereals, baby food, granola bars and other groceries, but it doesn’t yet ship fresh produce.
“I think it’s a myriad of issues,” Gobler said. “There’s a lot of competition, (and) you’ve also got an aging population who might not be able to drive. ... A lot of families are two-career families. People are looking for ways to make shopping easier.”
And in the Detroit area “you have a population of millennials who have no interest in driving (to the store),” Gobler said. “They’re going to be interested in a new way of shopping.”
Meijer is not the only grocer in Michigan to offer new shopping options. Earlier this year, Kroger brought its ClickList curbside service to Metro Detroit, allowing customers to preorder more than 40,000 items that are brought out to their vehicles.
In Ann Arbor, Whole Foods offers personal shoppers and home delivery seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Whole Foods service involves emailing a form to the store. The shopping service is free, but delivery costs between $10 and $20, depending on distance.
Missy Polhemus, head of marketing for Shipt, said the company plans to hire 200 to 300 shoppers in Michigan ahead of the launch later this month.
The Shipt app can be used on all smartphones as well as desktop computers or other devices with internet access. Metro Detroiters can sign up for the service at shipt.com.
Those who register before the Sept. 15 launch date will get $25 off their first order. Anyone interested in becoming a Shipt shopper can apply at shipt.com/be-a-shopper.
Stacey Sipes’ sister, Kelly Howson, said she sends her husband to the store when she can’t go. But she did note a benefit of delivery service.
“If you have young kids it could be pretty convenient,” she said.
Staff Writer Candice Williams contributed.
Worry-free home delivery
Southeast Michigan Meijer locations launching with Shipt on Sept. 15:
■Auburn Hills, 800 Brown
■Canton, 45001 Ford
■Chesterfield Township, 27255 23 Mile
■Clinton, 40455 S. Groesbeck Highway
■Commerce, 1703 Haggerty Highway
■Detroit, 1301 W. Eight Mile
■Detroit, 21431 Grand River Ave.
■Fraser, 34835 Utica
■Lenox, 36865 26 Mile
■Livonia, 13000 Middlebelt
■Madison Heights, 1005 E. 13 Mile
■Northville, 20401 Haggerty
■Rochester Hills, 3175 Rochester
■Rochester Hills, 3610 Marketplace Circle
■Roseville, 30800 Little Mack
■Royal Oak, 5150 Coolidge Highway
■Shelby Township, 15055 Hall
■Southfield, 28800 Telegraph
■Sterling Heights, 36600 Van Dyke
■Warren, 29505 Mound
■Washington Township, 8401 26 Mile
■Waterford, 4200 Highland
■Westland, 37201 Warren
■White Lake, 6001 Highland
■Wixom, 49900 Grand River