Saturday, March 08, 2014


Massive boxes with sliding doors appeared this week outside the Giant in the Westwood Shopping Center, on Westbard Avenue in Bethesda. It appears that the grocery chain is expanding its Pick-up service regionally. 

Giant has made no official public announcement of the expansion yet; its last press release regarding Pick-up locations was in August 2013.

You may remember that last year, a few Pick-up Points were designated in the county, including one at Chevy Chase Lake that isn't a store, but a unique Giant gas station. After months of posting a banner outside Westbard that strangely suggested your nearest Pick-up Point was at Chevy Chase Lake, "a few miles up the road" (Chevy Chase Lake isn't "up the road" from Westbard Avenue), Giant is now making the service a lot more convenient for west Bethesda residents.

After seeing the boxes Thursday night, I checked the Giant website, and found an expanded list of Pick-up Points that includes the Westbard Giant. However, neither Bethesda Row nor Georgetown Square are currently on the list (I'd bet on them being added in the near future, though). So while there's no press release yet, the Westbard store is available to be selected now.

Here's how the Pick-up service works: 

You go to the Giant website, and select "Pick-up: Get Started." This takes you to Giant's Peapod online shopping website.  Or, download the Peapod app, and you can shop on your smartphone.

Designate your Pick-up Point (in this case, Westbard), and then fill up your cart. Then, select the time of day you want to pick up your groceries. Arrive at the Westbard Giant, and a Giant employee will have your groceries in a refrigerated container (which I'm guessing will be inside these massive boxes out in front of the store), and they will be loaded into your car for you in 5 minutes or less. Then you're off.

There's no fee, no minimum order, or extra charge. Plus, you still get your bonus and gas points.

The only thing that wasn't clear at Westbard: where do you pull up? A Giant video shows designated Pick-up parking spaces, which were not evident Thursday night. I'll check back in the next few days to update you.

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