Ahold Delhaize’s Giant Food Stores said it would open an online grocery pickup facility under a new brand, Giant Direct Powered by Peapod, on Feb. 12 in Lancaster, Pa.
The new facility will mark both the first dark-store conversion for Ahold Delhaize as well as the first public unveiling of a new go-to-market strategy for its e-commerce operations, which reverses the traditional roles that local store brands and the online shopping site Peapod served for one another.
WGB previously reported on the new strategy and revealed the Giant Direct name and logo. The brand’s e-commerce efforts were previously known as “Peapod by Giant.” The change also coincides with a behind-the-scenes launch of a companywide digital ecosystem under Ahold Delhaize’s Peapod Digital Labs unit.
Giant announced last year that it would reopen the closed Giant store as an e-commerce hub, although a rendering published at the time showed its branding as Giant to Go. The 38,000-square-foot hub will provide walk-up and drive-up pickup for online orders and will help to widen the brand’s delivery reach, the company said.
As grocery e-commerce grows in popularity, retailers have converted closed stores to distribution points, which can relieve stress on operating area stores. The practice is widespread in Europe, where grocery e-commerce penetration is deeper than the U.S. Last year, Walmart said it would convert select closed Sam’s Club stores to distribution hubs to serve its growing e-commerce business.
The Giant Direct facility was built in a Giant store that closed in 2017.
“We are excited to make Lancaster the home of our newest innovation with the launch of our new Giant Direct, Powered by Peapod, e-commerce hub,” said Nicholas Bertram, president of Giant Food Stores, in a release. “Not only is the e-commerce hub a completely new concept for us and a first of its kind in our area, it’s the product of a fruitful collaboration with Lancaster Mayor Danene Sorace and local residents to give the Lancaster community the shopping experience they want and need.”
To place an order with Giant Direct, customers can use any device to visit the Giant Food website, the Peapod website or the Peapod app; they enter their ZIP code and begin shopping. Before checking out, they'll be asked if they would like to receive their order via delivery or pickup.
“Customer choice is at the heart of all we do. Giant Direct, Powered by Peapod, will allow more loyal Giant customers, starting with our neighbors in Lancaster County, to shop how they want, when they want and where they want, whether in-store, online or at a convenient pickup location,” Bertram said.