Online Grocer, Version 2.0
from the sounds-familiar dept
For years, companies have tried to become the next big online grocer, and each time, they seem to fail. First it was Peapod. Then it was Webvan and a bunch of others. Then came the big supermarket chains. Each time, they say they have learned from the earlier mistakes and have found a formula that works. The latest is a company that actually sounds very similar to Webvan. They’re called FreshDirect and they’re delivering grocery products all around New York City. Apparently, the selection isn’t huge, but they have great prices, and deliver very fresh perishable goods – which is their main selling point. They claim that they’re much more efficient than a standard grocery operation, which lets them charge lower prices while keeping higher margins. It’s an interesting story, and it sounds like they’re doing well, so far. However, I wonder how well they can scale. They may benefit from people who no longer need to be taught how to shop for groceries online, but that doesn’t mean they’ll make a successful business out of it.