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Taking it curbside

Raley’s E-cart lead Karen Packard with customer Janice Ocheltree, who is thrilled with the helpful curbside service because of knee problems. Ocheltree has been a faithful user of E-cart for the past month, and encourages others to try it. Usually she comes alone when picking up her groceries, but this day her granddaughter Michelle Larsen and great granddaughter Maddie, 3, were visiting from Rancho Cordova.
Raley’s E-cart lead Karen Packard with customer Janice Ocheltree, who is thrilled with the helpful curbside service because of knee problems. Ocheltree has been a faithful user of E-cart for the past month, and encourages others to try it. Usually she comes alone when picking up her groceries, but this day her granddaughter Michelle Larsen and great granddaughter Maddie, 3, were visiting from Rancho Cordova. Sierra Star

A couple of Mountain Area stores, Raley’s and CVS, have been offering curbside service for the past several months, much to the delight of active moms-on-the-go, busy professionals, and the elderly.

At Raley’s, customers must have a Something Extra Card to shop via E-cart, which was made available before Thanksgiving. At its inception during the hectic holidays, three to four shoppers used E-cart.

The process is simple. Go online at raley’s.com, click on E-cart, log in, do your shopping, pay online (or at pick up), and give a time frame during which the items will be picked up. E-cart lead Karen Packard does the shopping for you and bags your groceries. She even has spots in the back where she keeps customer bags for those who want to use their own. There are two designated E-cart parking spots, text that you’re there, and the groceries will be delivered and loaded in your vehicle, without your ever having to leave the comfort of the front seat.

“This is relatively new,” Raley’s assistant store manager Mark Conti said, “but the word is getting out and curbside service is catching on. So far, it’s been moms in a hurry, busy families and the elderly requiring extra assistance who are taking advantage of this service.”

Janice Ocheltree has been using curbside for more than a month, and the huge smile on her face said it all. She couldn’t be happier.

“I have problems with my knees,” Ocheltree explained, “and it’s been a wonderful thing to be able to order the groceries, and have them do the shopping for me ... they do such a good job, even in produce, I think they select better than I do.”

The 83-year-old then took a minute to offer some advice for her more timid peers.

“I encourage the elderly to take advantage of this service. Try it. Don’t be afraid. Get on your computers, it’s so easy to order, it’s like you’re walking down the grocery aisles ... they’re so good bagging, storing the groceries, and loading them in my car ... and then, off I go. It’s that easy.”

“E-cart provides the shopper the same level of quality our customers have come to expect in an online experience,” said Raley’s Director, Public Relations & Public Affairs Chelsea Minor. “Our in-store team strives to make the online shopping experience personal by allowing customers to share their preferences on their favorite items. For some that means green bananas and for others that means ripe avocados.”

The first three orders are free, after that there is a $5.95 fee. However, when customers spend more than $150 in a single shopping trip, the service is offered at no charge.

“With the way the world is going with everything online, we’re happy to participate in that shopping trend,” Conti added. “It offers an extra service to our customers.”

CVS has also offered curbside service to its Extra Care Card customers for a few months. Simply do your shopping at CVS.com/express, pay online, and CVS will text you when your order is ready for pick up. Park in the designated curbside parking spot and a representative will bring your order to your vehicle.

Curbside service, which is offered at no cost, excludes prescriptions and alcohol.

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