Top 10 Companies Launching Curbside Pickup Properly

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended as early as March 4 that the public should maintain “social distancing”. This is to avoid the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and protect themselves and each other from other potential illnesses. The World Health Organization declared the pandemic a week later, and based on the CDC, everyone must have a physical distance of six feet (6ft) for it to be valid social distancing.

Since then, businesses are mandated to follow this rule. What’s great about this is, there are companies with an already-existing online shopping and curbside pickup platform, and the situation encouraged them to expand their initiatives. Those who don’t have it yet, improvised with the tools and assets (i.e. parking spaces) that they have.

This is a much safer method of getting my purchased items. The retailers are not only securing my life by not letting another individual come near me, but they are also ensuring the protection of their employees. It’s reducing the risk of exposure to the virus for both parties. Everybody is provided what they need.

Here are ten great companies who have curbside pickup available for their customers by showing a timeline of how, from convenience, this concept has evolved into a necessity, based on the situation at hand.

 

April 2016 – Applebee’s

Casual American dining restaurant Applebee’s launched “Carside To-Go” in April 2016.

Immediate action on COVID-19:

  • Some of their stores have closed since March 21, 2020.
  • Food delivery via third-party providers like Uber Eats and Doordash was free until the end of that month.
  • No Contact Delivery policy is available at all locations.

 

May 2017 – Amazon Fresh

Grocery subsidiary of Amazon started curbside pickup for Amazon Prime members only, with a top-up monthly fee of $14.99. This service was only available in Seattle, WA.

Immediate action on COVID-19:

  • They announced a waiting list system for Prime members to avail of this service on a national scale.

 

August 2018 – Whole Foods Market

Organic grocer acquired by Amazon in August 2018, and adopted the curbside pickup after the merger was approved.

Immediate action on COVID-19:

  • The increasing demand on no-contact shopping has encouraged Whole Foods to limit store hours and allow more customers to avail of the curbside pickup service.

 

December 2019 – Best Buy

The electronics retailer offered curbside pickup as an option to customers who purchase online.

Immediate action on COVID-19:

  • Initially did not want to close its stores when pandemic was declared because the brand considered itself “essential retailer.”
  • They revamped this initiative on March 22, 2020 by allowing customers to park their cars within the vicinity and deliver their items instantly, instead of the normal waiting time.

 

March 15, 2020 – Walmart

They adjusted their operational hours to cater to buyers aged 60 and above.

Immediate action on COVID-19:

  • Initially, the “senior hour” is scheduled only during Tuesdays, 7AM-8AM.
  • Effective April 14, 2020, expanded this initiative to widen the scope of people who can avail of the service because of the upsurge of demand. It is now done daily, for senior citizens, people with disabilities, frontliners/first responders, and those vulnerable to COVID-19.

 

March 18, 2020 – Dick’s Sporting Goods

Closed all their stores for shopping effective immediately.

Immediate action on COVID-19:

  • Some outlets are open for online purchasing and pickup during office hours.
  • However, some products are not allowed for dispatch for this scenario, like firearms and ammunition.

 

March 19, 2020 – Michaels Stores

Maintained some stores as business as usual (BAU), because their target market is “essential workforce.”

Immediate action on COVID-19:

  • It has temporarily closed stores in the states of California, Delaware, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.
  • According to their company memo, they want their employees to speak up if they feel that they don’t want to be exposed to the public, and that they should talk to their manager about their options.

 

March 22, 2020 – Office Depot

It was their first time to do curbside delivery, largely because of the pandemic.

Immediate action on COVID-19:

  • They modified their return policy for the meantime to prevent people from coming to their stores.
  • Returns and exchanges of any product are prohibited from April 4 to May 3, 2020.

 

April 2, 2020 – Kohl’s

The department store chain closed all stores for shopping, but the online purchase platform is available for customers.

Immediate action on COVID-19:

  • Curbside pickup is offered for free.
  • Items purchased can be picked up within two hours instead of the longer wait.

 

April 13, 2020 – CarMax

The used cars retailer is a pioneer in its industry in terms of introducing curbside pickup.

Immediate action on COVID-19:

  • Interested buyers can shop online in advance.
  • The self-drive test option, and the CarMax sales person will maintain the recommended six feet (6ft) distance at all times.

 

Another good thing about curbside pickup is that this method may be sustainable even after the virus would be eradicated. It’s not just a good option for those citizens that need to be prioritized, but it’s also going to save everyone a lot of time. I do hope that more stores would adopt this practice, and hopefully after the pandemic, we can continue doing it.

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