Groupon just took a shot at Costco by introducing a new online bulk-shopping service called Groupon Basics, that lets users buy products in large quantities, with free shipping on purchases of over $US24.99.
Not only will this service appeal to shoppers who don’t have easy access to a brick-and-mortar bulk shopping location (read: most people in big cities), but unlike Costco and Sam’s Club, the service won’t require a monthly membership fee.
Right now, the Groupon Basic selection is pretty limited, but Groupon says that in the coming months it will “aggressively build out the existing categories” (which right now includes household items like soap, shampoo, and napkins) and expand into packaged and canned grocery items.
The service has some overlap with Amazon’s recently announced Prime Pantry, which lets Prime members get $US45 pound boxes of everyday items. Pantry is not aimed at bulk quantities, like Basics is, but it offers speedy, two-day shipping, which Basics does not.
The idea of making grocery shopping more convenient is a hot one right now, and if Groupon can manage to expand their selection to make it actually competitive with big box bulk shopping retailers.
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