Australia’s online grocery space, long dominated by Coles and Woolworths, is now welcoming a new player to the market.
Metcash’s independent supermaket chain IGA has launched a national grocery delivery service off the back of its Priority Shop offering introduced at the height of the COVID-19 outbreak in Australia.
IGA Shop will supplement the company’s existing online offer which sees some of its independently-owned stores already providing an online service to customers in their area.
“As independent family owned businesses, many IGA stores have been providing online shopping and home delivery services to their local communities for some time,” said Danielle Jenkinson, EGM Retail Channels, Metcash Food.
“We’re thrilled to be able to offer an online service from even more IGA stores across Australia and to further support our local communities.’’
When a customer places an order through IGA Shop, their local IGA store will contact them to complete the order. As independently-owned stores will be managing orders in their local area, IGA said the range and pricing may vary, and therefore the final cost will be confirmed between the owner and customer.
“We aren’t yet experts at home delivery, so please bear with us as we iron out any kinks and improve the online shopping experience. It’s definitely not perfect, but we’ve built this solution quickly to ensure that IGA retailers are able to continue to support their local communities as only they know how,” Jenkinson said.
IGA’s Priority Shop launched in early April offering groceries for home delivery for elderly and vulnerable customers as well as frontline workers.
Coles and Woolworths were forced to suspend their online grocery services for five-weeks, during which time they sought to prioritise vulnerable shoppers and get a a handle on the increased demand. They both re-opened services to the general public in mid April.
The decision to roll out an online service for the general public was based on meeting the needs of consumers who wish to avoid shops and crowded places.
“While we prefer to serve our customers face to face, we’ve developed this online solution because we know some of our local shoppers aren’t able to get out to the shops right now or would prefer to stay away,” Jenkinson said.
The site features over 1800 essential and popular items that are commonly stocked at most stores, but the retail giant said more products, features and delivery areas are being added weekly.
Earlier this month, Metcash’s independent liquor brands (IBA) launched an e-commerce site with next day delivery. The Shop MyLocal site sells wine, champagne, beer and spirits for delivery from the nearest store to the customer.
Inside FMCG has contacted IGA for further comment on the delivery service.
More to come.