Sears to test grocery delivery in Chicago

Posted June 10, 2010 at 7:46 a.m.

By Sandra M. Jones | Sears
has been delivering refrigerators and washing machines to U.S. homes
for decades. Now the company is looking into delivering groceries too.

The service, an expansion of Sears’ year-old MyGofer online shopping
portal, quietly launched on Memorial Day in Manhattan and in the
according to Tom Aiello, spokesman for the Hoffman Estates-based
company. The home delivery service — which brings groceries,
prescriptions, electronics and other goods from its Kmart stores  — is
slated to roll out to other
markets including Chicago-area Kmart stores later this summer, he said.

Sears Holdings Corp. launched MyGofer last year as a way to combine bricks-and-mortar retailing with Amazon-style online shopping. The Web site allows shoppers to search tens of thousands of goods online, place orders from the computers or iPhones, and pick them up in a Kmart store, in as little as two hours–without getting out of their cars..

Sears also converted a shuttered Kmart store in Joliet into a warehouse and showroom with a drive-thru and renamed the Kmart store MyGofer. The store, which opened in May, is the only one of its kind in the country.

The retailer’s plans to start home delivery of groceries and other products appeared as part of a video highlighting Sears’ online prowess that Imran Jooma, Sears’ top online executive, showed during a keynote address the Internet Retailer trade show at McCormick Place in Chicago Wednesday.

“Customers are looking for instant gratification,” Jooma told the audience. “They want it today. They want it now.”

In an interview later, Jooma said plans for expanding MyGofer inside Kmart stores are moving ahead.

“We’re expanding the MyGofer service,” he said. “There will be more MyGofers.”

Jooma declined to comment on the prospect of opening another MyGofer store like the one in Joliet.

Internet Retailer, the host of the show, estimates Sears Holdings generated almost $3 billion in online sales in 2009, making it the eighth largest online retailer. Sears’ annual revenue fell 5.8 percent to $44.04 billion last year.



  1. Amy June 10, 2010 at 9:24 a.m.

    Perhaps if the Trib could do a little reporting, they might ask local Peapod how their grocery delivery service is doing….might round out the story a little. Is there really a market for this?

  2. Karen June 10, 2010 at 9:44 a.m.

    There is definitely a market for this, and Peapod could use the competition. Their prices are too high and their service is hit or miss. It’s about time Chicagoans had another grocery delivery option.

  3. Pete Mechales June 10, 2010 at 11:28 a.m.

    I’d try that. I am a weekly peapod customer but, they have been getting pretty arrogant with no competition.
    Peapod is often late even though premium prices apply for “on time” delivery. When you call them on it, they are indifferent.
    They could use some competition to keep them on their toes

  4. jack (me) June 10, 2010 at 11:32 a.m.

    It worked for Jewel until about 50 years ago…

  5. Cheryl June 10, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Jewel delivers. You have to do your own shopping, but a couple of times a year when I have to buy too much to carry home on the bus it’s a great service.

  6. Sally Ride June 10, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Epic fail. I ain’t buying bread from Sears.

  7. Southern Tornado June 10, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    The Sears/ Kmart website is currently atrocious and terrible to try to find anything on, not to mention it kills my computer. Probably going to need to fix that before moving forward.
    I love peapod but the prices are definitely higher. Jewel prices + online shopping would be awesome.

  8. Pat June 10, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    @Southern Tornado, Thanks for the input. I work for Sears online business unit and we are constantly striving for improvements. Feedback like yours really does help us improve and optimize your web experience.
    As am employee, of course I’m biases ;) however MyGofer is really good. It’s not just groceries, I bought shampoo and “Red Dead Redemption” game for my XBox360 in the same order. Try doing that on PeaPod!

  9. drucipher June 10, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    WP, that’s great that you believe in what you’re doing. If only consumers at-large felt the same way. How about if this reporter actually visited the Joliet location to observe whether any customers ever appear? That might be informative- unless of course you’re simply consuming and spitting out press releases from Sears hyping their business without actually reporting. Every time I’ve been by the Joliet “store” there have been ZERO cars in the drive thrus. ZERO. In case there’s any confusion, EVERY time I have been by the Joliet location since it was converted last year I have NEVER ONCE seen a car in the drive thru. How’s that for reporting…