Bonn The closer it gets to Christmas Eve, the more crowded the supermarkets become. But in view of the rising numbers of Covid-19 cases, many people in Bonn and the region are also having their groceries delivered directly to their homes. Which supermarkets offer a delivery service?
With rising numbers of confirmed coronavirus cases, some people in Bonn and the region are preferring to use grocery delivery services to avoid crowded aisles in supermarkets and long queues. Some grocery stores now offer online ordering and delivery services.
A woman from Bonn writes on Facebook that she has been using a delivery service from time to time for the past two years. After a knee operation, she discovered the that she could order her groceries online, which helped since she was temporarily unable to drive a car. "I was thrilled and I still order online sometimes now. During the pandemic, I find it better than going to crowded stores."
The Bonn resident is not alone: since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in the spring of this year, there has been an increased demand for online grocery shopping, Rewe spokesman Thomas Bonrath said in response to a GA inquiry. "The Rewe delivery and pick-up service has become more attractive for new and regular customers due to the situation where we have to reduce our contacts. Since the partial lockdown, however, the situation has not significantly changed."
Online grocery shopping more popular than before, but not a substitute
In general, ordering online has been popular since Rewe launched its new service in 2011, he said. Customers can enter in their zip code and see whether a delivery or pick-up service is available in their area. Both types of services are generally available in Bonn and the surrounding region. Depending on the location, the range of products includes between 15,000 and 20,000 different items at Rewe. At this time, many people are reportedly also switching over to use the pick-up service: Groceries can be ordered online and then picked up at a designated location. "The service also offers advantages for those who want to supply (groceries to) people in quarantine or those who belong to a corona high-risk group," Bonrath said. Nationwide, there are about 1,000 of these pickup services, he said.
Although the lockdown has not closed down supermarkets at any time, consumers are taking advantage of grocery delivery service more often than in the past, according to various surveys, says Elisabeth van Thiel of the NRW Consumer Center. "Nevertheless, grocery shopping in brick-and-mortar stores remains consumers' favorite shopping option," she says when asked.
Online supermarket Picnic wants to come to Bonn
Online supermarket Picnic also has its hands full at the moment. "We're seeing a strong increase again right now," says Frederic Knauth, head of Picnic online service in Germany. At the moment, he says, there are three times as many deliveries as six months ago. So far, only the Lower Rhine and the Ruhr area in North Rhine-Westphalia are serviced by the online supermarket. In the coming year, however, Picnic plans to deliver in Bonn and the Rhineland as well.
Around 150,000 customers currently order their groceries online. Often, that's their normal weekly shopping, Knauth says. Customers can add their groceries to a shopping cart via an app. With a minimum order of 35 euros, one of the electric delivery trucks then comes to the customer's home and brings fruit, vegetables, fresh produce and the like.
Retailers do not have to disclose expiration dates
"What seems practical at first may lead to an overfilled shopping cart, which is not only expensive, but in the case of food, it can also lead to waste," warns van Thiel of the consumer center. Consumers should take their time when shopping online, check their pantries beforehand and draw up a shopping list, she advises.
The retailer is required to provide all legally binding information before the purchase is completed online, but this does not include expiration dates. That's important to keep in mind when buying supplies, she says. Moreover, fresh products with a short shelf life cannot usually be returned.
Aldi-Süd, Edeka and Lidl do not deliver groceries
Netto has also set up an online service. It says customers can buy around 1,000 different products online, including grocery and drugstore items. Netto has not yet commented on the store's response during the coronavirus pandemic. At Aldi-Süd, there is no delivery service, according to a spokeswoman for the company. However, certain promotional items can be ordered via the online service "Aldi liefert" (“Aldi delivers”). "All of these offers are services that are highly relevant to customers," according to the discount market chain.
The situation is different at Lidl: There are no food delivery services there so far. Instead, household items, electronics, clothing, furniture and the like are offered online. And at Edeka, too, delivery service would seem to be the exception: "Edeka Rhein-Ruhr consists mainly of independent merchants who run their stores independently," explains spokeswoman Kerstin Holla. "As a rule, they do not offer a delivery service, and this is also the case in Bonn and the surrounding area. In the few exceptional cases, it is the local retailers' own initiative."
(Orig. text: Sabrina Szameitat, Translation: ck)