Boom in Online Grocery Shopping During Cold Snap

SCRANTON -- People in our area found many ways to avoid going outside on Friday and the internet age makes that a little easier.

A grocery store in Lackawanna County saw a huge boost to its online business.

Gerrity's busiest business on Friday happened online. The store uses a third-party website and app for customers to order online and have their food delivered.

Employees at Gerrity's tell us about three times as many people took advantage of that service.

When Pete James arrived at work Friday morning, he had a full plate. Pete runs the online ordering operation at Gerrity's on North Keyser Avenue in Scranton.

"I found an abundance of orders, online orders, like three times what we would normally have for today and got right to pulling people's groceries and getting them out the door so they'd have them on time," James said.

While the temperature was in the single digits outside, Pete kept warm inside keeping track of about two dozen orders.

Customers order through the Rosie app, then Pete and his team do the shopping using a special cart equipped with bags, a scanner, and a laptop. This particular day, there were a lot of names he didn't recognize.

"A lot of people who don't understand the system, so I deal with a lot of phone calls with, 'how does this work?' 'How did you do that?' you know, 'did you charge me right?' But, there's been a huge influx in new customers."

As the day went on and the shopping continued, they kept getting new online orders.

Pete hopes those new customers stick with it even after it warms up.

For today though, he called in extra delivery drivers to make sure all orders got out the door on time.

so, while the wind was whipping outside for the drivers, it was warm enough for a t-shirt for customer Gene Washo.

"I like it warm, you can see I have shorts on here, I like it warm."

Washo has been a delivery customer for a few months. In this weather, he says it's especially worth it.

"People are afraid to get out of the house, go down to the store. I think it's a wonderful operation that they have there," Washo said.

The online delivery service at Gerrity's does have a surcharge -- $10 added to your grocery bill. In this weather, some might say not having to go outside is priceless.