Is the concept of grocery shopping changing due to online ordering and delivery options?

Posted at 6:00 AM, Sep 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-07 07:04:33-04

There just never seems to be enough time in the day.

Now, a Cleveland-based company is trying to help you find a few extra minutes.

Heinen's has joined a growing list of grocers to offer online ordering and delivery to your front door.

They join Giant Eagle, Walmart and Amazon, among others, in the grocery delivery game.

Dr. Richard Klein, a professor at CSU's College of Business, says this concept of grocery delivery has been around for 100 years.

"What's new is the amount of it, the intensity of it and how it's occurring in all parts of life," said Klein.

The convenience of grocery shopping from your smart phone or computer is concerning for Charmia Linen.

She's a regular at Dave's Supermarket on Payne on the city’s near east side.

"I love it here. It's nice coming here -- seeing everybody," said Linen.

For customers like Linen, this is one of the few places to interact with neighbors and build community.

"A lot of people enjoy the comradery of going into stores and talking with the grocers, the butcher, the bakery person," said Klein.

Klein tells News 5 he expects this new shift to online grocery shopping will prompt companies to improve their in-store experience.

"By offering nice stores, by hiring local people from the area to work there, by investing in the community that gives an incentive for the consumer to go buy there," said Klein.

Otherwise, grocery stores could soon suffer the same fate as big box retailers hit hard by online shopping.

"If in fact online does take over the realm of shopping, you may, in fact, see that happen," said Klein.

There is a lot of hype surrounding online grocery shopping right now, but Klein said after a few months or a year, it may lose its luster as people start to miss the in-store experience and doing things like squeezing the tomatoes.