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Hannaford Bros. to add online ordering, curbside pickup at Yarmouth supermarket

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Hannaford Bros. to add online ordering, curbside pickup at Yarmouth supermarket

YARMOUTH — The Hannaford Bros. supermarket on Route 1 later this year will begin offering online ordering and curbside pickup services.

The move comes as part of a major renovation of the store that began late last month and is scheduled for completion in fall 2014.

The service, called Hannaford To Go, allows customers to browse the store's selection from a computer or mobile device, fill an online shopping cart, and schedule a pickup time. When customers arrive, they will idle in a designated curbside area where store employees place groceries in their cars and charge their credit cards. Shoppers paying with cash or EBT will be required to park and go inside.

Orders of $125 or more will include no charge for the service; smaller orders will carry a $5 surcharge.

The supermarket chain currently has two Hannaford To Go locations, one in Windham and another in Dover, N.H. Both opened over the past three years. Hannaford  has not announced any other future Hannaford To Go locations.

"We've gone slow with pickup," Hannaford spokesman Michael Norton said. "We try to establish that it's not the whole offering, it's just another convenience. We try to focus it more on the lifestyle of a particular customer, and not force it on people."

As part of its renovation, the Yarmouth store will annex storefronts formerly filled by Blockbuster and Dominos. Hannaford owns the entire strip mall, and leased those spaces to the other businesses, Norton said.

The remodeling, the store's first since 2000, will encompass the entire space and include new floors and display cases. The planned renovation made the store a logical choice to be the next Hannaford To Go location, Norton said.

The company launched a short-lived delivery program, Hannaford Homeruns, in the mid-1990s, but has no plans to revisit that service.

"It was a pretty modest experiment," Norton said. "It was more of a pilot. We learned a lot from it. I think one of the things we learned was that delivery is more for an urban environment. We tend to serve more small towns and small cities."

Hannaford To Go offers almost every product that customers can buy inside the store. Exceptions include prescription drugs and greeting cards.

An informal poll conducted at the Yarmouth store on Monday morning found that shoppers are generally receptive to the idea.

"Wow," Chris Ventimiglia, of Freeport, said when he heard the concept. "I'd be interested. I think it would be good if you have kids."

Don Buccholz, of Cumberland, said he wouldn't use the service because he doesn't use a computer.

"I probably would try it," said Linda Beal, of Falmouth, who shops at the store three times a week. "I think it's a fascinating idea."

Brendan Twist can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or btwist@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @brendantwist.