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Mon, Nov. 18

Fry’s pushes button on Internet shopping in Cottonwood

Fry’s customers can use their cell phones to order and pay for groceries online. VVN/Vyto Starinskas

Fry’s customers can use their cell phones to order and pay for groceries online. VVN/Vyto Starinskas

Working late and need groceries? Fry’s Food Stores in Cottonwood may have the answer for you.

The Cottonwood grocery store was the first of the chain supermarkets in town to offer pick-up service for its customers this week.

It’s not a new concept. The Walmart Supercenter in Cottonwood began offering the service a year ago.

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Mike Moody, Fry’s Cottonwood store manager, Sarah Winterberg, middle, Fry’s E Commerce Specialist Sarah Winterberg, right, and assistant managers Reynaldo Garcia, and Jody Yauck are ready for on-line orders at the Fry’s Food Store in Cottonwood. VVN/Vyto Starinskas

The service works like this: A customer goes online or their mobile device to “Fry’s Pickup” after setting up an account at Frysfood.com, explained Cottonwood store manager Mike Moody.

The customers choose from the on-line menu, order what they want and pay for it on the website, said Moody.

Then, when the customer drives up to Fry’s in Cottonwood, they park at the designated “pick up” parking spots marked by blue signs and call the “pick-up” phone number.

The Fry’s associate inside will come out with the groceries and a mobile register to go over the transaction, take coupons, make adjustments and then process the final payment – all at the customer’s vehicle.

There is a hold put on the card when the initial order is made on-line, Moody said, but the final price is charged on the credit card when the customer checks and approves the groceries in the parking lot.

This includes everything from dry groceries, fruits and vegetables, meats and even beer and wine, but not prescriptions and tobacco, he added.

Orders have to be called in three hours before the desired pick-up time, according to Sarah Winterberg, Fry’s E Commerce specialist, so the Fry’s team has time to put the order together. Orders can be placed on-line three days in advance, she said, but there will be no phone orders.

There is no minimum for the number of items a person wants to order for pick-up online, Winterberg said.

A customer’s “favorite” or “most commonly purchased items” are saved on their account, explained Winterberg, so customers can add those to their basket launch site.

There will be a special section for comments for the deli or meat section if they want meat cut in a certain way, she said.

Perishable items and groceries will be kept new room built with coolers and heaters at the Cottonwood Fry’s to keep to keep cold and hot foods at proper temperatures until the customer shows up.

Moody said this will really help the “time-sensitive” customer.

The pick-up service is free and Winterberg said customers can find exclusive deals for customers on the website when they make an online order. This deal is in addition to the deals they already get in the grocery chain’s normal ads, she said.

Winterberg and Moody said “no” when it came to tipping the associates who bring out the groceries.

“We just provide a friendly service and our associates are compensated in other ways,” Winterberg said.

“It’s the wave of the future,” Winterberg predicted. “Customers are definitely strapped for time. And that’s friendly service.”

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