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This Popular Online Grocer Is Shutting Down Service In Two Major Cities

Its final deliveries will be completed this Saturday.

If you've been relying on FreshDirect for a hassle-free grocery experience, you may have to go back to shopping the old-fashioned way: By getting off your couch, walking to the supermarket, wandering around the aisles, and actually lugging those bags of groceries home all by yourself.

The New York-based online grocer many have embraced throughout the pandemic (and, not to mention, for the past 20 years), just announced that is going to cease operations in two urban markets: Philadelphia and Washington D.C.

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FreshDirect's last deliveries in those markets will be completed on Saturday, according to the company's announcement via a blog post. This decision follows the January 2021 acquisition of FreshDirect by Ahold Delhaize USA, a Dutch supermarket operator which owns Stop & Shop.

"After much consideration, we have decided to focus on our home market in the New York City metro area," the company said. This includes an expansion to the Jersey Shore and to the Hamptons, according to the FreshDirect website.

Ahold Delhaize's plan is to generate $11 billion in global sales by 2025, and FreshDirect partnered with Stop & Shop to bring convenience to the digital and brick-and-mortar channels, according to Supermarket News.

freshdirect bags
John J Kelly III / Shutterstock

Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and New York are FreshDirect's primary metro markets, with the grocer operating from a 400,000-square-foot automated fulfillment center in the Bronx.

FreshDirect had expanded to Philadelphia in 2012, and to Washington D.C. in 2017, with a 2-hour service for D.C. added in 2020, according to Grocery Dive.

Perhaps shoppers are finally stepping out of their homes, two years after the pandemic began—and the need for online grocers is diminishing while pickup remains the most popular choice in e-commerce.

Farmstead—another online grocer—ceased serving four markets earlier this month, and now only operates in San Francisco. Amazon Fresh also stepped back from serving customers in New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, California, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles in 2017.

If you still have credit for FreshDirect that you'll be unable to use due to the closure of your market, it will be returned to your original form of payment by September 30.

Danielle Braff
Danielle Braff is a freelance writer based in Chicago. Read more about Danielle