Starting in June, Bashas’ customers can no longer order groceries online or over the telephone. Company officials said Friday that they will eliminate the approximately 10-year-old home-delivery service because it is no longer cost-effective.
Kristy Nied, a spokeswoman for the Chandler-based firm, blamed the high cost of gas and increasing frugality among consumers as the chief reasons for canceling the Groceries on the Go program, which started in the late 1990s.
“We had less than half of one percent of our customers (who) were using this service,” she said. “It just became challenging for us to continue the service without increasing our fee.”
Company officials posted an announcement on their Web site, saying: “Even in a strong economy, home delivery is challenging for a grocery chain to do; in the current economy, the expenses associated with delivery — especially the cost of fuel — have increased dramatically ... This was an extraordinarily difficult decision for us, and we hope you can appreciate the factors that led to it.”
The service cost $9.95 for next-day delivery and $14.95 for same-day delivery.
As an olive branch, Nied said officials are mailing their home-delivery customers $5 coupons for purchases of $50 or more. “We’re trying to make the transition as easy as possible,” she said.
Home-delivery services aren’t that popular in much of the United States, said David J. Livingston, an industry consultant based in Wisconsin.
“It’s not common,” he said. “Where it works best is in areas like Washington D.C., New York City and Chicago, where the population is very vertical,” he said. “Phoenix is very spread out and there are grocery stores every couple miles. I mean every major intersection has got one.”