At Home Group, Inc. is partnering with Pickup, a last-mile logistics company, to offer contactless next-day local delivery, the retailer announced on Monday.
As of Monday, the retailer offered delivery services from 106 of its stores, but the company will introduce the service to 125 stores. The next-day delivery service starts at $10 and customers can order online or call their local At Home store, per the company's announcement.
The company noted in its press release that the delivery rollout comes after its investment in buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) services this past January and curbside pickup in March.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the retail industry, retailers like J.C. Penney, Stein Mart, Walmart and Target, among many others, were also investing in curbside pickup and BOPIS.
As the coronavirus outbreak forces government officials to order residents to stay home, At Home Group is among retailers rethinking how they get their merchandise to customers. Other companies, including 7-Eleven and Postmates, have introduced contactless deliveries to their offerings.
"Now more than ever due to COVID-19, customers are more comfortable having items delivered directly to their homes when shopping," Lee Bird, chairman and CEO of At Home Group Inc., said in a statement. "We are taking our long-term vision of expanding our omnichannel capabilities and accelerating the rollout of new services, while also prioritizing the health and safety of our employees and customers during these unprecedented times."
The shift toward delivery and online shopping comes as retailers address consumers' in-store sanitation fears. As a result, grocery delivery apps have seen a spike, but take out delivery apps have declined, according to a report from Apptopia. Plus, Amazon has seen an increase in out-of-stock products.
As government officials extend stay at home orders to slow the spread of the coronavirus, signs point to brick-and-mortar stores taking a hit. Analysts from the Wedbush and Morgan Stanley don't anticipate that online sales will make up for physical store losses. Coresight estimates that more than 15,000 stores could close for good this year. Department stores could face a liquidity crunch in the next five to eight months.