A new Arkansas-based online grocery company is expanding its services to Topeka with the hopes of making grocery shopping more convenient for suburban families.
EasyBins provides delivery of groceries from multiple different stores at once. It works with such Topeka stores as Walmart, Sam’s Club, Aldi’s, Petco and more.
“We’re expanding what convenience means, early in the morning and after work. Particularly for busy families on the go,” said James Farmer, EasyBins founder and CEO. “We never change. We’re always available at the same time.”
All items from the stores are packaged into a temperature-controlled bin for delivery. Bins are then packed at a facility in Topeka.
EasyBins schedules its deliveries at two set times each day. Grocery orders placed by noon are guaranteed to be delivered by 5 p.m. Orders placed by 10 p.m. will be delivered at 6 a.m. the next day.
“We look a lot more like Fed Ex and UPS than we do Instacart,” Farmer said.
EasyBins doesn't require a delivery fee or minimum purchases in Topeka
A delivery fee, minimum order amount and a membership aren't required to use EasyBins. Neither is a mandatory tip to employees.
EasyBins moved into Kansas City, Kan., in late 2021. Keegen Knapp, EasyBins’ head of marketing, told KSHB TV the prices for products are slightly higher than when shopping in person. Knapp told KSHB that translates into the average delivery costing about $8.
“It’s our opinion, you don’t have to hit a minimum before you go into Hy-Vee." Farmer said. "Walmart doesn’t say, ‘You can come in if you spend 20 bucks,’ so we think for delivery customers, there should be no minimum as well.”
Farmer said the No. 1 thing the company hears from its customers is how much they love not having plastic bags or boxes to break down.
Shoppers don’t keep the bins used to deliver their groceries. Instead, when they finish unloading their items, they place the bin back outside and a EasyBins driver will pick it up the next day.
What's the future plan for EasyBins?
Farmer said they’ve recently done research using delivery to solve real issues in food deserts.
The research gave insight to whether delivery could be a tool to nudge food behavior in food deserts and high poverty areas.
Every zip code in Topeka has access to EasyBins.
“We’re taking one store at a particular location in Topeka," Farmer said, "and we’re now making that available to everybody.”
Farmer said the company doesn't have plans to expand west of Wichita but intends to go east and expand into a south-east grocery delivery business.
"Our strategy is just to kind of dominate and own grocery deliveries in suburban America," he said.
Keishera Lately is a business reporter for the Topeka Capital-Journal. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @Lately_KT.
This article originally appeared on Topeka Capital-Journal: Topeka customers can now use EasyBins for grocery items online