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Ahold Delhaize-owned, Carlisle, Pennsylvania-based The Giant Company yesterday announced "the launch of Ship2MeT by GIANT and Ship2MeT by MARTIN’S, giving customers access to an expanded assortment beyond traditional grocery categories and all delivered directly to one’s home … Ship2Me complements the online grocery services offered through GIANT Direct and MARTIN’S Direct. In addition to ordering staple grocery and household products for pickup or delivery via GIANT Direct or MARTIN’S Direct, Ship2Me gives more choices in categories including health and beauty, home décor, and other household items. Instead of picking up Ship2Me items at the store or having them delivered at a scheduled date and time, these items ship directly to customers from Ship2Me sellers.

"All Ship2Me items have the option of free standard shipping, which takes between four and nine days. Ship2Me sellers may offer other shipping options such as Express or Next Day Delivery for an additional fee, but shipping options and fees vary by seller and product. Return shipping is always free. There is no minimum order required for Ship2Me."

"Ship2Me by GIANT is a natural extension of our current grocery delivery options,” said John Ruane, senior vice president, omnichannel merchandising, The GIANT Company. “By offering access to complementary products not traditionally found in store, we are adding endless aisle shopping options for today’s busy families, all with the convenience of being delivered right to your door."

KC's View:

I admire the impulse, but what I've never resolved in my own mind - and I am open to guidance here - is whether a food retailer, which by definition should be what used to be called a category-killer in the food category,is well-served by a long-tail approach that embraces categories not connected to what should be a core expertise.

Would food retailers be better served by culinary investments that strengthen their core value proposition?

I do think that related categories are fair game - cookware, for example.  Small appliances.  Cookbooks.  (All things available through Ship2Me.  But bedding?  Shower heads?  (Also available through Ship2Me.)

I'm just not sure.  Guidance welcome.