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Quality Dairy Brings Back the Milkman

Convenience-store chain launches delivery program

LANSING, Mich. -- Quality Dairy, which was among the innovators that helped do away with the milkman in the 1930s, is bringing him back, and now he also delivers beer.

The 30-unit convenience-store chain has partnered with Vroom Delivery, which advised the retailer on how to launch and manage its own internal delivery program, dubbed QD Quick Delivery. The service launched Aug. 15 and offers more than 2,000 products, including alcohol, ice cream and treats, bakery items, sandwiches and household staples.

“Today’s customers want a different kind of convenience, and we are proud to carry on QD’s legacy of customer-focused programs with the addition of QD Quick Delivery,” Quality Dairy President Ken Martin said in a statement.

Quality Dairy’s stores dot the area around Lansing, Mich., and delivery is available in downtown Lansing, East Lansing, and many of the surrounding neighborhoods. Delivery is also available to Michigan State University.

“All of our technology is built specifically for convenience stores, including how we price things. The stores doing their own delivery makes the unit economics work for both us and for the stores,” Vroom Delivery CEO John Nelson told CSPDaily News.

Individual stores manage all inbound e-commerce through Chicago-based Vroom’s online portal. Chain management accesses a suite of tools to manage the program’s e-commerce function, including delivery radius, delivery fees, pricing, promotions and inventory.

“It’s central to our platform that the stores do their own [delivery]. In most states, it allows them to deliver alcohol and tobacco, which is important,” said Nelson, “But also, if you look at the costs of third-party delivery, like Postmates for example, not only do they take a delivery fee, but they take huge margins, which just makes it noneconomical to deliver most of the products in the store.”

Quality Dairy, based in Lansing, Mich., was founded in 1936 at a time when milk was usually obtained through home delivery. Quality Dairy’s original company mission included providing bottled milk in small neighborhood stores. Since then, the chain has expanded to 30 locations and offers ice cream and an expanded list of grocery items.

Vroom Delivery is designed specifically for the convenience-store industry. Stores manage all inbound e-commerce orders via a single platform, and management can access tools designed to easily manage all aspects of the e-commerce business. Founded in 2016, it operates in four states, including with two regional chains, and it has plans for expansion into other markets nationally.

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