business news in context, analysis with attitude

• Raley’s has launched a new online shopping service called “ecart,” which allows customers to order and pay for groceries online and then pick them up at its store in Elk Grove, California. At present there is no home delivery component to the program.

The Sacramento Bee, reporting on the program, details all the fabulous e-grocery failures that have littered the supermarket landscape (Webvan being the biggest and most expensive flop of all), as well as the apparent resurgence of the e-grocery category (Safeway, Amazon, FreshDirect, SimonDelivers) despite the fact that it is difficult to make money in online food shopping.
KC's View:
There are few innovative businesses where you can’t point to failures along the way; anything truly innovative is going to spawn spectacular flops because that’s the nature of innovation.

It’s the nature progression of these things: Risk…risk…failure…risk…reward. (Maybe.)

Good for Raley’s. Tomorrow’s customers, the ones who today are only in their teens, will have no allegiance to the traditional food shopping model. It is imperative for retailers to start figuring out how to reach these shoppers.