The way we shop for food is getting a makeover at a new grocery store in Norwood, Massachusetts.
Addie's opened Thursday, but there were no customers to be found in the store's aisles. The company offers only online grocery shopping with curbside pickup.
"I'm super excited to do this once a week," one woman told NBC10 Boston. "I will not miss going to the grocery store at all."
Addie's CEO Jim McQuade says he came up with the idea when his wife asked him to pick up a few items at the supermarket on his way home.
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"It took me 25 minutes to get what we needed and to get home," he said. "The kids were hungry. I was late. It was not a great experience."
In the store, workers fill orders with handheld computers and codes. The aisles are lined with products, not customers. The same goes for the freezers and coolers.
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McQuade says his concept failed 10 years ago, but COVID-19 has changed attitudes about shopping online and curbside delivery.
"The pandemic didn't change the future," he said. "It just pulled forward five-plus years of demand. And so the time is now."
The store has 38 employees with salaries starting at $20 an hour. But Addie's says low overhead helps keep prices competitive. It offers about 4,500 items online.
"Grocery prices are definitely going up these days, and the prices are in line with all the other places I would shop in person," another shopper said.
McQuade says he considers Staples as a model for what his company is trying to do. He hopes to open as many as 2,000 stores.