The service started about two weeks ago. Customers shop and place grocery orders online at www.simondelivers.com and arrange a delivery time. In the lakes area, the deliveries are Fridays and Saturdays. And while a focus is initially on cabin-bound folks who are likely to be familiar with SimonDelivers, the target market is not limited to seasonal residents. The company hopes to catch on with Brainerd lakes area full-timers as well.
The full service is expected to run through Labor Day weekend. SimonDelivers is hiring area residents for delivery services and those employees are focusing on marketing the service during the non-delivery days.
David Gandrud, SimonDelivers director of marketing, said if the business takes off in the area the company would consider expanding to the lakes area on a full-time basis.
SimonDelivers says its prices are on par with other grocery stores and compares to market leaders on daily basic buys like milk. The company also run specials.
SimonDelivers was spurred to add the lakes area as existing customers spend summers up north. Twin Cities residents can take groceries with them in the company's insulated delivery totes or have groceries waiting for them here when they arrive.
The general delivery area is centered on the lakes region starting north of Highway 210 and extending north past Crosslake and then west to Pine River before curving back south along Cass County Road 1. The company is willing to work with customers who may be a block or a mile off Highway 210 to the south, but picked that boundary for a start.
SimonDelivers has been in business for five years. Gandrud said it takes a new customer about 45 minutes to set up the account and place an order. After that orders can be placed in about 15 minutes. Most national brands are carried and manufacturers' coupons are accepted. Groceries come in family packs and shopping items include small office supplies. Alcohol and wine and spirits may be ordered but only for attended deliveries.
Unattended deliveries, using a porch or garage, will arrive in refrigerated totes designed, Gandrud said, to keep ice cream frozen for eight hours in 80-degree weather.
While grocery delivery options have come and gone in the area, Gandrud said company officials have logistics and distribution worked out already through their delivery model and now they are expanding marketing. Deliveries can extend out three to four hours from the company's hub in New Hope.
"We know we can make it work on what we have," Gandrud said, adding now it's finding the right customers.
RENEE RICHARDSON can be reached at email@example.com or 855-5852.
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