The grocer doesn't want to pass on rising costs to customers, so they decided to pull the plug on deliveries entirely.
If you live in a busy metropolitan area—New York City, for example—grocery shopping at your local Trader Joe's (especially after work and over the weekend) isn't a quick in-and-out process. The budget-friendly retailer has earned a reputation for long lines, plus transporting large, bulky bags of groceries is a challenge of its own when you live in the city and don’t have a car. In the last year, however, getting groceries delivered to your front door has become easier for everyone—including Trader Joe's fans—which is why shoppers were shocked to hear that the retailer is pulling the plug on all delivery services.
According to Business Insider, Trader Joe's will not focus on expanding their delivery services outside of metropolitan areas—and they've decided to end all deliveries in the New York City market by March 1.
Kenya Friend-Daniel, a corporate representative for the grocery chain, told Insider that offering home delivery to customers has become too costly.
"Instead of passing along unsustainable cost increases to our customers, removing delivery will allow us to continue offering outstanding values—quality products for great everyday prices, and to make better use of valuable space in our stores," Friend-Daniel said. "This was not a decision we made lightly. We value our customers and all that they do to come shop with us."
In New York, Trader Joe's customers have had the option of home delivery for more than 10 years. Now, they'll have the option of using grocery delivery services such as Instacart, Shipt, and Whole Foods' Prime program. But there’s one caveat: Trader Joe's doesn’t participate in third-party delivery services, and Business Insider reports they’re not planning to start any time soon.
Walmart recently expanded their curbside pickup program to include 3,100 locations by the end of next year, in addition to the delivery services it currently offers at 1,600 locations. Target, on the other hand, decided to buy Shipt in late 2017 and has rolled out multiple new pickup and delivery options for shoppers on their mobile app.
And while Trader Joe's is not the only grocery store not to offer their own delivery services, other stores—including Costco, Aldi, Wegmans, and Kroger—have already partnered with third-party suppliers such as Instacart. Shoppers in big cities can pay a delivery fee to these suppliers and get fresh groceries without leaving the house.
Trader Joe's does offer some of its most popular staples on Amazon—like their Everything but the Bagel Seasoning, albeit at much higher prices. So it seems that Trader Joe's fans, for now, will have to head to their local store and brave the crowds for their favorite finds.