Shopping Gets the Fast Food Treatment


The days of standing in long check-out lanes at the grocery store could soon be over, with at least two Chicago-area merchants doing their best to make the futuristic lifestyle enjoyed by The Jetsons a reality. 

With, the shopping is done online or by phone.  Employees called "guides" then do the heavy lifting, filling orders in a massive warehouse using motorized scooters.

MyGofer has opened a warehouse in Joilet, making Chicagoland one of its test markets.

Getting your order home is up to you.  When you drive up, the items are placed in your trunk and you pay with a credit card.  There's no need to even get out of the driver's seat.

"From appliances to toys, to bed linens to laundry detergent [or] if you need a garage door opener, it's all here; it's all available and ready to go within minutes for you, " said MyGofer spokesman Gregory Kosobudzki.

For Crystal Thomas, a busy mother of two toddlers who needs every second of her day, it's like a dream come true.

"It's convenient because I can order my stuff online.  I have two little ones, so I don't have to run in the store like for diapers and stuff. It's such a hassle having to go through Jewel or Dominick's to run in."

Experts believe as many as 24 percent of consumers do their shopping online every week.  That's one of the main reasons the drive-thru concept is catching on with merchants who are fighting to stay relevant and move products.

Meijer has launched a similar program called Grocery Express.  The subscription, fee-based service is being tested at Meijer Stores in St. Charles and Aurora.

MyGofer does not charge to use it's service, but a quick comparison of some prices shows it will cost you more for some products.  A gallon of milk was priced $.30 more, a tub of butter was about $.80 higher and a loaf of bread cost about a dime more.

But with her 1-year-old and 2-year-olds always keeping her on the run, the convenience is worth the cost for Thomas.

"Sometimes they fall asleep when I get them in the car, like naptime.  It's kind of nice," she said.

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