The owners and managers of Ferguson & Hassler ("Fergie's") supermarket, 100 TownsEdge Drive, Quarryville, have introduced a new service that they hope will be a boon to the community. On April 24, online ordering was slated to go live through the Rosie app.
"This is the way grocery shopping is going," noted store manager Jimmy Hassler. "We wanted to be the first in our area to kick this off."
The online ordering service has been successful in other states, so Fergie's owners - brothers Tim and Jim Hassler, along with their cousin George "Chip" Hassler III - introduced the idea last year, when the store marked its100th anniversary.
"When we opened in the early 1900s, we did the shopping for you," said e-commerce manager Timothy Hassler.
"We're kind of going back to the future," Jimmy quipped.
The similarities are striking, with a few noticeable differences. Rather than write out a paper list of desired items that they would hand to a clerk, today's customers may open the Rosie app on their mobile devices or personal computers, add items to their virtual cart, pay using a credit card, and collect their bags of goods at the store. When an order is submitted online, Fergie's employees will collect the items and have them ready for pickup during a set time. Customers will not have to leave their vehicles.
"A lot of working moms with kids like (the idea)," Jimmy said.
The service will also be beneficial for people with mobility challenges, those who do not have time to shop, and those who do not enjoy grocery shopping in general.
A service fee will be charged per order, but the fee will be waived for each customer's first purchase. Items may be favorited, and previous purchases may be reordered through the app. The Fergie's customer loyalty program is not linked to Rosie, but advertised sale prices will be honored. The only difference is that online purchases will not earn gas rewards.
Currently, only credit cards are accepted for payment for online orders, but the team is working on adding PayPal as a payment option.
Two pickup times have been set each day, and 20 orders will be accommodated during each time slot. Orders may be picked up from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. on weekdays as well as from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. Fergie's is closed on Sundays. Orders must be placed at least three hours before the preferred pickup slot. If the service proves popular, additional slots will be opened. Eventually, grocery delivery may be added.
During the pickup times, a Fergie's employee will be stationed by the new refrigerator and freezer that have been installed under the overhang at the front of the store. Customers will show a code generated by the Rosie app to collect their orders, which will be retrieved from the cold storage or from the warehouse if nonperishable.
While practically the entire Fergie's inventory is accessible through the Rosie app, customized bakery items, party platters and other catering items, and self-serve food bar selections will not be available. Customers should call the store at 786-7301 to place orders with the bakery and catering departments.
The Rosie app may be downloaded through the Apple Store and Google Play or by visiting http://www.fergusonhassler.com. Readers with questions about the online ordering service may call or text 725-0070 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.