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.Com grocery delivery service

Sue Enger

I am looking for examples/approaches for addressing the remodel/conversion of a portion of an existing (supermarket) grocery store, within a neighborhood business zone, to area devoted to a .COM grocery delivery service. A major grocery chain is seeking approval for the new operation and it is likely that this will be a trend in many areas of the country. The internal physical changes and operational changes would result in a much smaller retail area, combined with a storage/distribution center type use. Specifically, the remodeled area would consist of storage for stock available for delivery, and an area where computer terminals are available so groceries can be ordered online. Grocery orders would be picked up from the store and distributed by van around the area. The new operation could be viewed as retail with a subordinate distribution center, or a distribution center with a small retail counter. I'm interested in the experience of any other jurisdictions that have dealt with this type of use, particularly when proposed in neighborhood commercial centers. What type of impacts have been observed? Any useful zoning approaches to address the combined use? Standards applied to address potential impacts, including the changed nature of the business and increased van and truck traffic related to grocery delivery, on the surrounding area?

Linden Smith

I haven't seen this fully implemented anywhere yet. It is happening though, the internet moving the point of sale in retail.

I think this will be slow to be realized in most areas, simply because people are slow to change. All the elements are in place however, and the cost structure is right, so it will happen.

I think the intensity of land use would drop for most existing retail centers. The nature will change towards a more "distribution center" type use, but it can be almost without scale, just as efficent for "big box" as for neighborhood retail. Fewer trips, different nature of trips, all else being relativly equal, it should reduce congestion, and parking requirements.

Architecture may be affected in the change, the nature of the structures having to deal less with customers.