MIAMI — Farm Stores Corp., which operates 31 Farm Stores Drive-Thru express market outlets in Florida, has launched Farm Stores iExpress, at FarmStores.com, Florida’s first online grocery shopping service with convenient drive-thru pick up locations. With Farm Stores.com, customers can stock up on groceries, toiletries and other items found in their local super market from the convenience of their home or office.
Farmstores.com includes expanded offerings comparable to a full-line grocery store in addition to the family staples that Farm Stores has been synonymous with through the years. Customers will be able to log onto website, create an account, place an order and have the groceries waiting for them. They can choose what time they want to pick up their order and from which of 17 drive-thru locations throughout Miami Dade County.
The retailer said it plans to add more pickup locations.
First-time customers can receive special discounts on their first order, the company said.
“For 53 years, our customers have relied on the convenience of shopping for milk, bread, eggs, bananas and other quick trip items from our stores without having to get out of the car,” said Carlos Bared, CEO of Farm Stores. “About eight years ago, we thought, ‘wouldn’t it be great if people could shop their entire grocery list without having to get out of the car?’. That concept, merged with current technology and consumer demand, became Farmstores.com.”
Farm Stores, which also owns Gardner’s Super Market Inc., will fulfill online orders from its fully stocked supermarket. Customer’s order will be kept stored, frozen and refrigerated at the designated Farm Stores location until they are picked up.
“We’ve hired the best experts in the field of online grocery shopping and have implemented state-of-the art mechanisms to ensure that we deliver an online grocery shopping experience that is competitively priced with traditional grocery super markets and truly convenient for our customers,” said Bared.
One such expert is Farm Stores new senior vice president Thomas O’Connor , who, prior to joining Farm Stores, was president of Publix Direct.
“Previous efforts to provide online groceries by other companies had certain pitfalls such as requiring customers to be at home during a select window period. Because hindsight is 20/20, we were able to solve this problem by developing an online service that allowed buyers to pick up from one of our Farm Stores drive-thru locations when it was convenient for them; on the way home from work, after picking the kids up from school or on the weekend. The service is perfect for anyone on the go or who has limited time,” said O’Connor.
Farm Stores, now based in Palmetto Bay, Fla., was founded in Miami Beach, Fla., in 1935. Originally operating under the name Land O’ Sun Dairies, the company produced dairy goods and in 1957, created the Farm Stores Drive-Thru outlets to sell products directly to the consumer.