In the latest stroke of supermarket convenience, Central Market is debuting curbside service at select Texas stores.
The first location for the service is in Fort Worth, where it begins February 15. Central Market will add it at select stores in Austin, Dallas, Plano, and Houston. The date has not been announced, but construction is underway at the two stores in Austin, at 4001 N. Lamar Blvd. and at 4477 S. Lamar Blvd.
H-E-B, Central Market's parent company, has already launched more than 100 curbside locations at H-E-B stores throughout Texas. Kroger and Walmart also offer curbside services. This doesn't even get into all of the companies currently offering delivery of groceries to your house.
To use Central Market's service, customers make a grocery list and place their orders online at centralmarket.com/shop, then schedule a pick-up time. Orders must be placed at least four hours prior to the scheduled pick-up time. Pickups are available from 8 am-9 pm.
Central Market staffers do the shopping and pack the grocery order.
At the Fort Worth store, there are reserved parking spaces designated for the service. Customers park, then text the number listed on their parking stall sign to alert employees they have arrived. Employees bring the groceries to the car and load them.
The ordering form allows customers to make specific requests, says the Fort Worth store's general manager, Austin Jourde, in a release.
"If a customer would like to specifically request an avocado that is ripe and ready today along with another avocado that will be ripe in a few days, the online order form allows them to make those notes and our partners will deliver on that request," Jourde says. "Our curbside shopping team has been trained to shop to specifications and details and also to build relationships with our customers."
There's no minimum order, but there is a pick-up fee of $4.95, plus a 3 percent personal shopping fee added to the order total. As an introduction, the first four deliveries are free. Customers can place orders anytime and can schedule orders up to seven days in advance.