While some retailers are thinking of launching e-commerce sites, others rely on old fashioned methods like home delivery, but with a twist.
The Pennington Market, a single-unit, family owned upscale retailer in Pennington, N.J. , near Princeton, has no Web presence, but it offers a shop-for-you and delivery service under an exclusive contract with a company called GrocerEz, owned by Judy Piepszak of Bordentown City.
Piepszak has about 20 clients -- some elderly or infirm, but others just too busy to shop -- for whom she shops weekly. Business fluctuates, with new people joining temporarily if, for example, they are recuperating from surgery and need help with grocery shopping for a short time, she said.
Orders are faxed or e-mailed either to her home office or to the store, and she charges $25, with an additional fee for unpacking and putting away the groceries. Among her clients are a few companies that like to have their lunchrooms stocked with such items as coffee and soda.
"We are in an upper-class area, where people probably have more money than time," said Don Rellstab, the store manager. "We're not even looking at it [on-line shopping] now, only because we are chasing so many other things," he added, referring to the recent opening of a new Wegmans in his trading area.
At the other end of the economic scale is Key Food, a collection of independents under the same banner serving many New York City areas. While Key Food has no on-line presence, it offers delivery for up to a $3 charge. Orders are accepted from 8 a.m. to noon, Monday through Saturday, and are filled on a first come, first serve basis.