Peapod Taking On The East Coast

Long Island The First Step For Online Grocer
CHICAGO–Peapod is taking on the Big Apple.
The Internet supermarket and its agencies are preparing for the service to begin operations in Long Island during the fourth quarter, with subsequent expansion to northern New Jersey, Manhattan and New York’s Westchester County envisioned for 1999.
“Our marketing strategy has been to be where our customers are, so it has been a mix of radio, direct, print and point-of-sale [at supermarket partners],” said Tim Dorgan, executive vice president for Skokie, Ill.-based Peapod. The company has reached an agreement for Giant Food Stores to provide products and warehousing for the Long Island service.
Lee Hill in Chicago, which was recently acquired by and absorbed into DraftWorldwide, handles Peapod’s direct response business. Lois/EJL in Chicago handles other media. Dorgan said the Long Island entry strategy will likely include expanded outdoor and transit advertising.
Establishing a presence in the New York area may also help Peapod in its efforts to get more packaged goods companies to advertise on its site, Dorgan said.
Additionally, Peapod said it intends to launch a national online grocery service called Peapod Packages. It will offer delivery of bundles of occasion-specific, preselected products, such as new-baby items or back-to-school products. Ad plans for that program have not been determined, Dorgan said.