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Case 19

In: Business and Management

Submitted By zsaeed
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Case 19: FreshDirect

Is It Really Fresh?*

With a bold promise on its website entry page, FreshDirect claimed, “Our food is fresh, our customers are spoiled…. Order on the web today and get next-day delivery of the best food at the best price, exactly the way you want it, with 100 percent satisfaction guaranteed.”1 However, recently many consumers have questioned the freshness of the food delivered by FreshDirect. Since online shopping does not give the chance for customers to feel and choose the products themselves, they must rely completely on FreshDirect to select the food for them. This notion has not appealed to some customers.

Operating out of its production center in Long Island City, Queens, FreshDirect offers online grocery shopping and delivery service to more than 300 zip codes in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Nassau County, Riverdale, Westchester, select areas of Staten Island, New Jersey, and parts of Connecticut. FreshDirect also offers pickup service at its Long Island City facility, as well as corporate service to selected delivery zones in Manhattan and summer delivery service to the Hamptons on Long Island. When it was launched in July 2001 by Joseph Fedele and Jason Ackerman, FreshDirect pronounced to the New York area that it was “the new way to shop for food.” This was a bold statement given that the previous decade had witnessed the demise of numerous other online grocery ventures. However, the creators of FreshDirect were confident in the success of their business because their entire operation had been designed to deliver one simple promise to grocery shoppers: “higher quality at lower prices.”

While this promise was an extremely common tagline used within and outside the grocery business, FreshDirect had integrated numerous components into its system to give real meaning to these words. Without a retail location, FreshDirect didn’t…...

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