We Tried This: Safeway’s Delivery Service

Skip the stress of parking and standing in lines with this new service.


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Editors’ note: The HONOLULU Magazine staff is always excited to try new things. With this web series, we bring you activities we tried for the first time—a new one every month.

 

The Safeway driver delivering my groceries to my doorstep. The retail chain launched delivery service in selected areas of O‘ahu last month.
Photos: Bradley Fox

 

I’m always looking for easy, convenient solutions to my busy life.

 

So, when Safeway started offering grocery delivery service in selected areas of O‘ahu last month—waiving the delivery fee this month—I just had to try it.

 

There’s a $49 minimum purchase—easy—and delivery rates in most areas are $9.95 for purchases of $150 or more, and $12.95 for purchases under $150. This month, though, customers can get free delivery and a $15 discount on purchases by using the promotional code ALOHA at checkout.

 

I had heard from friends who tried the service when it was first offered that there were some glitches. A co-worker said Safeway only delivered a portion of her order, which was unfortunate, since she had ordered ingredients to make dinner that night. Another friend said the driver showed up late.

 

I decided to wait a couple of weeks to let Safeway work out these bugs before trying it myself.

 

1. HOW IT WORKS

 

The process is simple enough: You can either access the service online at shop.safeway.com or download the Safeway delivery app on your smartphone or tablet. Once you’ve logged in, you can shop by history—a nice feature if you’re a repeat customer who tends to buy the same items—aisle or recipe.

 

Since this was my first online order, I opted to shop by aisle. It was easy to navigate through each section, which ranged from frozen foods to canned goods. You can even shop for flowers.

 

While you won’t find every single item Safeway sells in its stores, you’ll be surprised by the selection. I found my favorite cereals, ice creams and deli products online. There’s even a nice variety of local products available online, including Aloha Shoyu, Roselani ice cream, Big Island Bees organic honey, Diamond Bakery cookies, Maui Brewing Co. beer, Mānoa lettuce and local coffee.

 

And you can order anything, from frozen goods to alcohol. The new Safeway delivery trucks are outfitted with freezers and coolers to keep everything at the right temperature.

 

The special delivery trucks are equipped with multiple temperature zones, so the frozen items stay frozen and the produce stays fresh.

 

Once you place your order, click on the “checkout” button on the top right corner of your screen. You’ll be asked for a time frame in which you’d like your groceries delivered. You can choose from the popular one-hour window (which has fewer options), a two-hour window or a four-hour window. The latter two usually come with discounts to your order.

 

The next step is to enter any promo codes for additional discounts. (This is where you enter ALOHA for your free delivery and $15 discount.) After that, you can decide on substitutions, in case what you ordered isn’t available at the time workers pull your items. For example, you can opt for a different brand of milk but in the same gallon size. Finally, you enter your delivery information, including directions or special instructions, and pay. That’s it.

 

2. WHO MIGHT BE INTERESTED

This service is appealing to anyone who’s too busy to shop, lives in a condo or has difficulty getting to the grocery store or lugging heavy bags. I imagine it’s a great option for anyone throwing a party and without the time to run to the grocery store that day. I’m seven months pregnant and live in a house with a lot of stairs, so it was a boon for me to have someone deliver my groceries and walk them to the house.

 

3. WHAT HAPPENED

Here’s what I ordered. (the wine is for my husband.)

 

I opted to have my groceries delivered within a one-hour window, which meant I had to wait until the next day to receive my order. Since I didn’t need anything urgently, that worked.

The next day, the delivery truck pulled into our cul-de-sac and unloaded several paper bags full of groceries, including fresh bananas, deli meat, milk, yogurt, frozen waffles, canned goods and a bottle of wine. (The driver asked to see my ID in order to receive the alcohol.) Some of my items weren’t in stock or had been replaced by another brand, which was fine. I wasn’t charged for the items that weren’t delivered. And the driver said they’re not allowed to accept tips, so we saved on that, too. It was easy and stress-free.

 

4. WOULD WE DO IT AGAIN?

Definitely! It was easy to shop online and convenient to have everything delivered to your doorstep. If I had specific items to buy, though, I would rather shop in-store to ensure I got exactly what I needed. But it sure beat fighting for a parking stall in the Pali Safeway lot and then standing in line.

 

TIPS

  • Don’t rely on this service for specific products or items you need urgently. You may not always get what you want or in the time that you want it.
  • It’s better to have a list of what you need or want before scrolling through the site. If you’re just browsing, the experience can be a major time suck.
  • Keep your tip. Our driver said they’re not allowed to accept them.

 

Get free delivery and $15 off your purchase by ordering by Oct. 30 at shop.safeway.com. Enter the promo code ALOHA at checkout.

 

READ MORE STORIES BY CATHERINE TOTH FOX

 

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