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Good Idea or Not? “Peapod Launches Grocery Pick-Up at (Some) Metro Stations”

by Prince Of Petworth February 2, 2016 at 3:41 pm 35 Comments

courtesy Peapod

From a press release:

“Making lives easier for Washington D.C. area residents, Peapod by Giant announced today a first-of-its-kind offering that will allow shoppers to place their orders online and pick them up at one of three Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) stations: Fort Totten, Glenmont and Vienna. The new Metro Peapod service began February 1, 2016.

As the country’s leading online grocer, Peapod is committed to offering value, convenience, and time-savings to customers. Peapod will monitor this exciting pilot program closely for expansion opportunities in additional metropolitan markets.

“Today there’s no one-size-fits-all for food shopping, so we offer flexibility,” said Jennifer Carr Smith, President of Peapod. “Working with Giant allows us to be that trusted resource that can deliver to your home, offer a quick pick-up option or provide traditional in-store shopping. This new Metro partnership is just one more way we’re trying to simplify the task of grocery shopping.”

“We are excited to partner with Peapod to provide our riders a new, convenient, time-saving option to complete their grocery shopping without having to deviate from their daily routine,” said Paul J. Wiedefeld, Metro General Manager and CEO. “These initiatives are important so that we can see which amenities work best for our customers.”

To use the service, Metro riders can simply place and pay for their order through Peapod’s online service, with pick-up options between 4 and 7 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. With average transaction times estimated at no longer than five minutes, Peapod-equipped Metro stations will feature lockers where groceries are stored, and an on-site Peapod attendant to load groceries directly into customers’ cars.

For consumers on the go, Peapod’s Metro service is an ideal solution for all their grocery needs. In fact, at least 50% of all Peapod orders are placed on mobile devices, making public transportation the perfect place to multitask.

“Giant knows that customers are constantly on the go and looking for ways to save time and money, without sacrificing service and quality,” said Gordon Reid, Division President, Giant Food of Landover, MD. “As part of their daily commute, customers can simply exit a Metro station and grab their groceries on the way home. We’re proud to partner with WMATA to take this innovative step into the future of city planning and convenience for our customers. ”

In addition to the three new Metro pick-up locations, Peapod by Giant also offers more than 50 convenient pick-up locations across Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware.”

  • how soon will it take for them to be broken into and all the food stolen?

    • CHGal

      There will be an attendant.

      • Correction – how long will it take for the attendant to be robbed

        • navyard

          Robbed of what? Your avocados? Presumably, you’ll still order and pay online.

          • ECfromDC

            i’m guessing of the food.

          • People don’t steal necessities in this city, it’s not quite Baltimore riot level yet. Now if it were an iPhone pickup location you might have a different conversation about safety.

  • Anon

    Odd choice of locations. I’d think the Vienna people are hopping in a car and passing by three Giants on their way home from the Metro anyway (though I guess it saves them some time?).

  • ZSmith

    This is a great idea! It’d be even better if Giant actually built stores in neighborhoods where access to fresh groceries is still difficult….small steps though.

    • Timebomb

      This is a cheaper solution that still gets the job done? I’m not complaining.

    • Wan

      I’m skeptical of the whole food desert concept. People in rural areas and suburbs live many miles from grocery stores. In the city, even without a car, there’s various transit options to travel a pretty short distance for full grocery stores.

      • smn-dc

        ZSmith–totally agree with you that these PeaPod stations would probably make more sense to be in locations where most people don’t have their own car but take connecting buses to get home….but than the demographic and $$ spent probably wouldn’t add up for them. And why would metro care even if it’s a good, moral initiative to put them where it’s most needed.
        Wan–don’t be skeptical of the food desert–it’s a real issue–studies have been done. Or more easily, you just take a drive through SE DC just over the Anacostia River, ex. take S. Capitol ST. where all the projects are. Tell me where there are grocery stores walkable near these projects. And if there are buses, they don’t come often and if you’re a single mom with 5 kids, without a car, how easy is it to get groceries to the house? There are ice-cream trucks parked in these projects that sells snacks and fast food. There ain’t no PeaPod truck driving through these areas. I volunteer with families & youths living in SE projects and wonder how much effort it really takes to get food on the table.

        • Wan

          Much of that “food desert” research has proven from subsequent research to be overblown, and the issue isn’t necessarily access but other contributing social factors.

          I’ve done a lot more than drive through EOTR. In fact, a quick search shows there’s 3 Safeways and 2 Giants EOTR or literally just over the border in Maryland. For folks on the south end, ir you recall from your travels, there’s the Giant in that large shopping complex off Alabama next to Congress Heights Metro and one in Eastover.

          To demand full grocery stores walkable to everyone isn’t in any way reasonable, even in wealthy areas. That’s why we have transit, and the Circulator specifically travels to the Harris Teeter in Capitol Hill. Not to mention Eastern Market and the Maine Ave. Fish Market that’s pretty close with fresh food and easy to get to on Metro.

          • MoreIsMore

            As someone who lives EOTR, I can assure you that it is a food desert. 3 Safeways and 2 Giants to serve two wards (and as you mentioned, all of those storea aren’t actually in DC) is not nearly enough to serve these populations.

            Additionally, have you actually visited any of those 5 grocery stores? The lines are typically insanely long, stock is often inadequate, and the selection and quality is even worse. I have the luxury of having a vehicle, so driving to a more decent grocery store is what I choose to do, but I’m very aware that everyone does not have that options. Food deserts exist in DC, but because they’re EOTR many like to turn a blind eye to them.

          • Wan

            I don’t know why crossing a street into Maryland is so horrible (many people cross city boundaries to shop), but EOTR was DC’s first suburb. Long-time residents tend to prefer its lower density car dependence (there’s always major push back to bike infrastructure, do example, so be careful you’re not pushing your vision on people who don’t want it). Its amenities and commercial zoning are more reflective of that suburban landscape and can’t be compared to more urban wards that are walkable.

            I’ve never noticed long lines when I’ve bought things there but clearly there’s demand if there’s so many people willing and able to purchase food. Perhaps all it takes is wooing anothet store to open.

            That Mom’s Organic store opened for a while offering fresh food affordably, then shifted their branding to appear less expensive, then closed. So even if fresh, high quality food is offered at an affordable rate the market may not respond.

  • navyard

    Awesome! I loved using Peapod while I was incapacitated. The only problem I had was waiting around for them all day to show up (sometimes worse than the cable guy). removing the transportation/traffic/delays from the equation will make this service so much more predictable. Love it!

  • Anon

    This is badly needed EOTR, not in the comparatively well-served burbs.

    • Other Anon

      Exactly what I was thinking with my comment above. Put these in places where people don’t have cars or nearby stores.

      • CHGal

        But Peapod has hefty fees until you get up up to about a $100 order, so it’s not really made for the kind of grocery haul you can carry home. This seems more appropriate for a place where you load it straight to your car.

        • Anon

          I assumed this option didn’t have fees, otherwise why not have it delivered directly to your house?

    • Timebomb

      Eh. This might serve to get more people out of their cars and into a car->metro commute. One of the arguments I hear from people in the suburbs against metroing is losing the ability to trip-chain after work, which makes for a more cumbersome evening (metro->car->market->car->home). This eliminates the need to tripchain entirely.
      Plus, I’m pretty sure Peapod groceries come from a warehouse rather than a prime retail store, which means this relieves congestion in those stores and probably saves them money (since they could consolidate eventually if it catches on). Wins all around, I think.

      • Caroline

        Eh, that’s not exactly true. Most suburban Metro riders still have to take a car to the metro station, and on their way home in the car they pass by stores. When I lived in VA I did a lot of unnecessary shopping on the drive home from the metro, just as a break from sitting in traffic.

  • anonymous

    Giant also has a gas station near Chevy Chase where you can pick up your Peapod orders. They should buy up more mom and pop gas stations and expand their footprint this way. Plus, they can make some money off of selling gas as well.

    • Timebomb

      Until EVs gain critical mass, anyway.

  • Tr

    These are three good stops for a test of concept. Hopefully if it pans out, they move to other stops.

  • AG

    Instacart fo’ lyfe.

    • el


    • navyard

      I love Instacart too. But they don’t have devil dogs and Peapod does.

  • Anon

    I was all prepared to be disappointed that there’s not one at the Van Ness metro…and then I remembered that there’s an actual Giant literally yards away from the exit.

  • dat

    How is the woman in that picture supposed to carry that box home AND push the stroller? What a terrible promotional picture.

  • Florista

    What happens if you open your shipment on-site and the order is incorrect? Just wondering, in theory. I’ve never used Peapod, so am not railing on Giant.

    • It’s just me

      I’ve used Peapod. A couple times they’ve forgotten an item or two (or one time put a bunch of cans on top of bread). I emailed them and they took those items (including the ruined bread) off of my order.

  • Wan

    Good idea. Maybe they can scale down for urban populations with smaller orders available for pickup at central stations like Shaw, Dupont, etc.

  • ECfromDC

    Navy Yard or Waterfront please and thanks.

  • I can’t imagine why this would be seen as “not a good idea”. Sure you might want it personally in your own neighborhood or somewhere else and be envious, but the simple implementation of this at the locations mentioned seems like a perfectly good idea. As for the locations chosen, they are relatively large Metro stops with plenty of space for something like this to be setup, unlike the ones closer in to the city.

  • anon

    This is a great idea, even better if they are targeting neighborhoods that are food deserts.


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