HARLINGEN — The response to coronavirus disruptions by retail businesses continues to produce innovative ways to ensure profitability.
The latest comes from PetSmart, which in the past couple weeks has rolled out a new delivery program using the same DoorDash Drive service which many restaurants in the city are utilizing.
In the case of PetSmart, it’s not delivering the chow, but maybe some treats for a chow.
The service offers same-day delivery and it works like this.
A customer goes online and selects PetSmart products, pays by credit card, and if this is done by 10 a.m. in the morning it will be delivered to an address of the customer’s choice sometime between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Orders placed after noon will be delivered the next day.
Sam Carlin is store manager at the PetSmart located at 2317 W. Lincoln St., and he confirmed customers have been using DoorDash to have their orders delivered for the past couple of weeks.
Carlin said as far as he knows, a DoorDash option is now available at all 1,400 PetSmart locations, although he declined further comment since he said he is not authorized to speak for his company.
DoorDash already is being used by at least 60 restaurants in Harlingen, ranging from McDonald’s and Wendy’s to Frankie Flav’z and La Playa Mexican Grill. A list of participating restaurants listed by city can be found at www.doordash.com
The catch for this convenience is it costs a little bit more, naturally.
Delivery fees can vary by order, apparently depending on how far a driver has to travel to make a delivery, along with some other fees. Some restaurants with contracts with DoorDash charge no delivery fee, but PetSmart orders do have a delivery fee tacked on by DoorDash.
“The pandemic has pulled the future forward for retail, where changes that once might have taken three years have instead happened in three months,” said Casey North, vice president of DoorDash Drive.
Pet stores, like grocery stores, were deemed essential businesses during the lockdown phases of the COVID-19 pandemic and overall have done brisk business.
“We understand that our customers need many different shopping options during this time, so ensuring they can make those purchases however they need is important to us,” said Will Smith, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for PetSmart.