Amazon Gets Competitive In Twin Cities Grocery Wars

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Shoppers in the Twin Cities have plenty of options when it comes to groceries — there are stores like Cub or Target, and companies that bring your shopping list right to your front door.

Right now, Amazon delivers groceries in some parts of the Twin Cities, but the online giant’s food options and the area it serves are growing.

“I usually do the grocery shopping. I’ll go on the weekends. Take one of the kids, maybe two,” Mike Fuhrman said.

For Fuhrman, that means a trip to Lund’s or Target. It’s a chance to get out of the house and fill up his cart. But he says there are days when he wouldn’t mind having someone else do the shopping.

“I think we would use it if sometimes you are gone all weekend and don’t have the chance to get out and get groceries,” he said. “It’d be nice to have just a few items delivered when you need it.”

amazon fresh prime now Amazon Gets Competitive In Twin Cities Grocery Wars

(credit: CBS)

And that list of grocery delivery options is growing.

“Yes they are in this market. Yes they deliver,” University of Minnesota marketing professor George John said. “But they keep expanding the things they deliver.”

John said Amazon is still a relatively new player in the Twin Cities grocery wars, delivering eggs, milk and ice cream. But it’s adding more choices every day.

And with stocks down for Target, Supervalu and others, John thinks a new initiative called Amazon Fresh could be a game changer.

“So now Amazon looks at it and says ‘Hey, Amazon Fresh, another $15 and we’ll deliver groceries to you,'” said John.

Retail experts speculate that it may not be long before they are delivering fruits and vegetables as well. John believes existing Twin Cities grocers can live with Amazon, but they may have to adjust.

“My message is: If you are competing with Amazon — and you are, whether you know it or not — you need to figure out how to coexist with them, not copy them,” said John.

John said the real winner here is the consumers. Cub, Hy-Vee, Target, Lund’s and many others, coupled with delivery services like Coborns Delivers and Schwan’s, are already established.

He says with Amazon expanding, there will be more options than ever before — and over time that could drive down some grocery prices.

More from John Lauritsen
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