Grocery delivery companies brace for a busy winter

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Remember how hard it was to get groceries delivered at the beginning of the pandemic? Well, delivery companies do too. They’re gearing up for a potentially busy season by beefing up their staff in both stores and warehouses to prevent major catastrophes.

CNN goes into major detail. Since the higher demand started months ago, online grocery businesses have kept the additional staff on hand to cover the persistently higher demand. With the addition of the upcoming holidays, they’re anticipating a bigger rush for items like canned goods, cleaning supplies, and yes, toilet paper.

Amazon is adding a new tool that allows customers to be notified when a delivery slot opens up, which was a major issue earlier this year. Rather than having to jam on that refresh button every ten seconds, the system will alert you when there’s a new time slot available. This feature will be activated in places where delivery becomes limited due to demand, so you won’t necessarily see it everywhere right away.

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FreshDirect, a New York-based online grocer, is adding 1,000 employees, and this includes truck drivers and behind the scenes roles like butchers and fishmongers to keep orders flowing. While high-demand items are being warehoused early, like canned pumpkin and baking supplies, there’s no telling whether or not the new systems put in place are going to be crushed.

There’s other innovation coming too. Hy-Vee, the one employing those new baby car wash things for shopping carts, is even adding temperature-controlled carts to keep things like fruits and vegetables fresh while employees shop for you, while Raley’s Supermarkets on the west coast will be adding coolers and freezers behind the scenes to keep more items stocked on premise.

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Now all we need is a Costco rotisserie chicken home delivery robot.