Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood is poised to become the epicenter of the online grocery wars, possibly as soon as this holiday season — with the potential opening of Amazon’s first drive-up grocery store, and now the expansion of Fred Meyer’s online shopping program at a store just a few blocks away.
We spotted signs at the Ballard Fred Meyer location indicating that “online shopping will be here soon,” through its ClickList service. A Fred Meyer spokesman said the company has not set an opening date for ClickList in Ballard, but it is looking at mid-December.
ClickList lets people shop from the comfort of home and schedule a one-hour pick-up window as soon as the following day. We got a chance to try the service out earlier this year.
In Washington, ClickList is available in Port Orchard, Federal Way, Puyallup, Longview, Bellingham and Vancouver. Fred Meyer is planning to implement ClickList in Renton, and a pair of stores near Portland.
Amazon continues to build out its Ballard store, in addition to another location in the Sodo neighborhood south of downtown Seattle. Bloomberg reported that the first Amazon stores in Seattle could open by the end of the year, and the company may have designs on building as many as 2,000 U.S. grocery stores in the next decade.
Amazon and Fred Meyer, as well as its brick-and-mortar contemporaries have taken far different paths to get to this moment. Fred Meyer, as well as other retailers like Walmart, obviously started with stores and added the online option as a way to speed up the process and bring in more customers. Amazon is famous for being a key force in the online shopping world. But it’s clear that brick-and-mortar still has value as Amazon has opened bookstores and pop-up shops in addition to its grocery push.