April 20, 1998
Schnucks Home Shopping Club is the area's first full-scope, on-line grocery shopping service. The service allows customers to select and arrange for direct home delivery or store pick-up of more than 15,000 products available at their neighborhood Schnucks.
Residents of Bloomington and Normal will gain access to the area's first full-scope, on- line grocery shopping service. Delivery is available in zip codes 61701, 61704, 61709, 61710, 61761, 61790 and 61791. The area includes more than 39,868 households with a population of nearly 108,757 residents.
Customers from any Bloomington-area zip code can place orders to be picked up at the Schnucks located at 1701 E. Empire St. in Bloomington. Customers can access the Home Shopping Club through the Schnucks home page at www.schnucks.com.
"We are very excited to expand our Home Shopping Club service and to introduce pick-up service to customers in Bloomington," said Scott C. Schnuck, president and chief operating officer of Schnucks. "Customers love the convenience of shopping from home."
Schnucks is offering the Home Shopping Club to relieve time pressures on busy people and provide help to shoppers who cannot easily make a trip to the store. "Research shows that about three out of four on-line shoppers are women and most are between 25 and 50 years old.
"About half of all on-line shoppers have children under 18 years old and even more work in management positions," said Schnuck. "These are very busy people. We want to offer another level of service to make our customers' lives a little easier."
On-line shopping for groceries is expected to explode in the coming years. "Experts predict that somewhere between three percent and 15 percent of grocery shopping will be done on-line within three years. Since today's sales in the nation's grocery industry total about $300 billion, that tells us the demand potential for this on-line service could be extremely large," said Schnuck.
The Home Shopping Club offers first-time users a step-by-step guide to placing an order. The "Frequently Asked Questions" section answers many of the most popular questions customers have when using the service. "We have heard from customers that they appreciate these detailed guides. They tell us that each time they go back to the site, their shopping trip' is faster since they know the system," said Schnuck.
After signing in, customers will be instructed to designate whether they prefer home delivery or store pick-up.
Customers visiting the on-line Schnucks will find their favorite products in the same department as at their neighborhood Schnucks. For example, an on-line shopper will visit the dairy department to order milk.
Since introducing Home Shopping Club, Schnucks has added several features suggested by users to make the service easier and quicker to use. A "Search" function helps customers find build a "favorites" list as they shop. Most product listings include a full-color product photo to facilitate selection.
Schnucks' experience with home shopping and delivery dates to 1990 when it offered customers access to a computer-based shopping system developed by Prodigy. While Prodigy stopped offering the service in 1991, the experience encouraged Schnucks to begin evaluating computer-based shopping alternatives.
"The leading category of user for Schnucks Home Shopping Club are members of two- income households stretched for time," said Schnuck. "Senior citizens also use the service a lot. That number would probably be higher if more seniors had computers."
Schnuck said he has been pleased with the number of customers using the service. "We have had enthusiastic reception of Home Shopping Club and are seeing continued growth in use. Best of all, we believe we are helping many of our customers ease time management stress and transportation dilemmas," said Schnuck.
Schnucks Home Shopping Club was first introduced in June 1997 to customers in St. Louis, where Schnucks headquarters is located. It is the latest addition to the Schnucks home page, launched in May 1996. Since then, thousands of Internet users have visited the home page each month, including hundreds of shoppers making floral purchases. The Schnucks home page was selected from 10,000 sites as one of the Top 100 Web sites by Computerworld, a leading computer technology journal.
In addition to the Home Shopping Club, the Schnucks home page offers other features, including:
Schnuck Markets, Inc. currently operates 89 stores in Missouri, Illinois and Indiana. The family-owned company was founded in St. Louis in 1939.