Business

Companies cashing in as Americans return to offices

As Americans slowly revert to pre-pandemic life and head back to the office, some companies are finding ways to cash in.

One example is the newly announced collaboration between QuickCollect Solutions, a provider of grocery pickup solutions that is powered by Bell and Howell, and supermarket chain Lowes Foods to expand the Lowes Foods To Go delivery options to cater to employees.

Now, instead of delivering food to homebound employees, they’ll be delivered to office spaces.

Bell and Howell’s QuickCollect GL temperature-controlled grocery lockers are placed at offices and corporate campuses, starting with the Bell and Howell headquarters building in Durham, North Carolina. Orders are placed online and are currently being delivered three times a week.

“In today’s contactless delivery world of ease and convenience, this partnership provides consumers with more pickup and delivery options for their grocery shopping experience,” Joe Zuech, QuickCollect Solutions vice president of grocery pickup, said.

Shoppers who were forced to hole up inside their homes as a result of widespread lockdown orders found relief with online grocery delivery. It became a staple for shoppers – who relied on the convenience – even as restrictions eased around the country.

And as an increasing number of shoppers relied on online ordering, pickup and delivery, a number of companies wanted some skin in the game. And business for the companies that were already dabbling in it surged.

One of the biggest names in the grocery delivery market – Instacart – even doubled its valuation in 2020 to $17.7 billion as consumers latched onto the trend. Since then, its valuation has soared to upward of $39 billion.

It’s a trend experts say will last even as people head back to the office as well as brick-and-mortar stores.

A report by Mercatus projects that online grocery will account for 21.5%, or $250 billion, of total grocery sales by 2025. This is a more than 60% increase over pre-pandemic estimates, according to the report.