As e-commerce competition reshapes the grocery business, Chicago-based delivery service Peapod has a new leader with experience in online food shopping.
Selma Postma has been named president of Peapod, according to its parent company, global grocery giant Ahold Delhaize. Ahold also is the parent of Cumberland County-based Giant Food Stores.
Postma, currently the general manager of Albert Heijn Online in the Netherlands, will assume the role on Jan. 1. She replaces Walt Lentz, head of supply chain strategy and operations, who has served as Peapod’s interim president since Jennifer Carr-Smith resigned in September 2017.
Ahold is hoping that Postma — who has helped boost online sales for the Dutch company by more than 20 percent annually since 2014 — can give Peapod an extra boost in the U.S. as it faces mounting competition from larger companies such as Amazon, Walmart and Target. The U.S. is Ahold’s largest market.
“I’m very excited to see Selma take up this important role at Peapod, one of our great local brands and the leading U.S. online grocer, as we are stepping up efforts to further accelerate U.S. e-commerce growth,” said Frans Muller, Ahold’s president and CEO. “Her deep knowledge of food retail and online expertise make Selma the right person to lead Peapod into the next phase.”
Earlier this week, reports surfaced that Ahold is planning to roll out small, automated warehouses for order collection that would be attached to its U.S. stores. The goal is to speed up order processing and delivery to customers, who are shifting more and more to online ordering.
It’s unclear how those mini-warehouses may impact Central Pennsylvania.
However, Peapod has already been expanding, including in Central Pennsylvania. In June, Giant announced a new e-commerce hub at its former North Reservoir Street location in Lancaster. The new 38,000-square-foot hub will serve as a grocery delivery center for Peapod, its fifth facility in Pennsylvania.
Peapod delivers to homes and businesses in 24 U.S. markets in 12 states and Washington, D.C. In May, the Business Journal traveled with a Peapod driver in the Camp Hill and Mechanicsburg areas to see the delivery service in action.