Curbside pickup is exploding in the pandemic as more people choose to order online and scoop up their groceries outside the store without leaving their car. But you won’t find that option at a Costco store anytime soon.

The warehouse chain has long held that curbside pickup doesn’t make sense to offer, mainly because it doesn’t have the space in its stores to pull it off and because it wants customers to make impulse purchases. That’s even as rivals like Walmart-owned Sam’s Club, Kroger and Whole Foods expand their own curbside pickup offerings.

That could be a mistake in an environment where online ordering is taking off, retail analysts say.

Picking up groceries has become popular in the pandemic because shoppers want to limit their time inside stores. It can also be faster for customers than waiting for home delivery, and there are no delivery fees.

In August, 25.5 million households bought groceries online and then picked them up at stores, according to a survey of 1,817 consumers conducted August 24 to August 26 by consulting firm Brick Meets Click. That was up from 10.1 million households in August of 2019, the firm said.

Costco’s sales surged early in the pandemic as people rushed to stock up on groceries as they faced stay-at-home orders and social distancing rules. But the company, which reports its quarterly results Thursday, has seen sales growth taper off as restaurants reopen and consumers buy less in bulk.

Some analysts say that introducing curbside pickup would boost growth.

Source: CNN Business