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    Publix to Drop Curbside Grocery Service

    The test didn't meet expectations and will be discontinued Jan. 28.

    LAKELAND, Fla. -- Publix Super Markets Inc. plans to drop its curbside grocery service, according to a report by The Ledger newspaper. Publix began testing the service in 2010 and currently offers it at a Citrus Park location in Tampa, Fla., and two Atlanta sites.

    Spokeswoman Shannon Patten said Publix Curbside had its fans, but ultimately didn't draw enough business. The initiative will end on Jan. 28.

    "While our Curbside associates have created many loyal Curbside customers, the number of consistent customers who chose to use this service was considerably less than required to meet our predetermined expectations," Patten told the news outlet. "The majority of our customers love their Publix and still prefer to have the interaction with our associates."

    The curbside service allowed customers to place grocery orders by phone or online and have the items delivered to their car for a flat $7.99 fee. Orders were to be placed at least four hours in advance to give "personal shoppers" the time to gather items.

    This wasn't Publix's first online venture. In 2001, the chain tested a home delivery service in south Florida called PublixDirect, but ended it two years later, also because of underperformance.

    Meanwhile, Harris Teeter, a Charlotte, N.C.-based supermarket chain, has offered curbside grocery service for years through a program called Express Lane.

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