By Julie Huss
---- — DERRY — One local supermarket will make picking up groceries a bit more convenient for its customers.
The Hannaford market at 35 Manchester Road is planning a drive-up window for customers to pick up food they ordered through an online service.
The program is called Hannaford to Go and is already being tested at a store in Dover.
The plan came before the Derry Planning Board at a meeting April 16. The board gave its conditional approval to the plan.
Hannaford representative and civil engineer Jay Lord said the new service would be the second of its type in the state.
Eventually, Lord said, the company would like to have four operating order/pickup store sites.
The plan is place a drive-up window and canopy on the existing market's north side, and to provide lanes for vehicles to maneuver and drive up to pick up their order.
"You enter, you come around, there is a call box," Lord said. "You ID yourself, then pull up to the drive-thru aisle."
Lord said no one would need to get out of their vehicle car when arriving at the store. All transactions would be safely done under the canopy.
The new traffic pattern would not affect the existing parking lot in the front of the store.
Lord said the Derry market will be a good venue to try out Hannaford to Go.
"It's a good location for us," he said.
When the Derry store first opened, there was a cafe space with food and tables available for light meals. That space is no longer used for that purpose and will be utilized in the new food pick-up proposal.
Lord said proposed operating hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
It's a way to make life easier for Hannaford customers, he said.
"It's very popular with young mothers with kids in the car, or the elderly, even those coming in bad weather," Lord said.
Customers would sign up at the store for Hannaford to Go prior to using the online program.
Derry planning officials liked the plan.
"This would also be good for the handicapped who won't have to get out of their car," Planning Board Chairman David Granese said.
The added convenience would help people who might want an easier way to shop for food.
"It's a great idea," board member Jim MacEachern said.