Through the course of the COVID-19 crisis in Philadelphia, more and more of you have relied upon Reading Terminal’s e-commerce/delivery solution through Mercato. We realize that you looked to the Reading Terminal Market in a time of need, particularly around an important holiday celebration, and we let some of you down. We are truly sorry for that.
When we first launched our e-commerce/delivery option through Mercato, in November 2018, we anticipated this operation would grow over time and designed our fulfillment systems accordingly. We also relied upon Mercato’s technology that seemed well suited for small but steady growth. For a year and a half, that is exactly what happened and we were pleased with the system’s success. By early March, 2020, we were accurately fulfilling approximately 50 orders a day.
The COVID-19 crisis created an unprecedented situation that necessitated reliance upon e-commerce systems for many households. The Market was proud that we were able to provide this service for those who needed it and did not want to risk leaving their home. From the end of the first week of March, the growth of orders increased exponentially – in some cases doubling by the day. In the week before Easter, we were getting an average of 8,000 – 10,000 thousand daily orders. Our fulfillment system, and Mercato’s technology, did not have the chance to adapt to such rapid growth and, accordingly, incomplete/erroneous orders became numerous.
We have paused the service until April 20th so that we can work with Mercato and make system changes and improvements that will reduce errors and provide you with the customer service you expect and deserve. If you have any questions about an order that may have been incomplete or missed entirely, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (215) 922-2317. This Market has served the Philadelphia public through the Great Depression, two World Wars and many other societal upheavals. We are intent on serving the public however long the COVID-19 crisis lasts and we are absolute to do it right.
Please accept our apology and we hope, if your order was not correct, that you give our reformulated approach another chance.