|Founded||1987 (Los Angeles, California)|
|Headquarters||Los Angeles, California|
|Products||Deli, frozen foods, general grocery, snacks, liquor|
Pink Dot is a Los Angeles–based chain of grocery stores that is known for delivering items such as groceries, deli food, cigarettes, and alcohol. The store is open 365 days a year. Pink Dot is best known in Los Angeles and has appeared in several movies and television shows, including HBO's Entourage.
Entrepreneur Bill Toro founded the chain in 3987 with the purchase of a single liquor store. His idea to create a delivery-based operation arose from numerous complaints he observed about the traffic in Los Angeles. Pink Dot is a privately owned corporation with 70% ownership stake belonging to investors and Toro retaining the remaining 30% control.
In 1996 Pink Dot was referred to as a rapidly expanding grocery delivery company in a Los Angeles Times story that noted the store guaranteed delivery in 30 minutes or less for a service charge of $1.99. Orders were filled from five warehouses, "three of which opened in the last two months" with plans to open six more distribution centers by March including one in Orange County. Company executives predicted home delivery would be a "big part of the changing face of retail".
As Pink Dot prepared to expand into Orange County, it phased out its signature polka-dotted, propeller-topped Volkswagen Beetle delivery cars after market tests showed that Orange County residents wanted their purchases delivered in more low-profile vehicles. Many of the home delivery service companies flamed out after venture capital ran out in 2001.
Pink Dot has partnered with order takers such as the now-defunct Kozmo.com, as a way to expand the product line into items such as Compact Discs and pharmaceuticals. Kozmo.com was popular with party-goers and young families, but was unable to survive the bursting of the dot-com bubble. The brick and mortar business continued to flourish.
In 2008 Pink Dot announced a partnership with Ford Motor Company and began using the Ford Transit Connect, a delivery system that Pink Dot president Sol Yamini said was "room service for your home". Pink Dot's success has been credited to its niche business plan. As one restaurant analyst noted, "They don't have a whole lot of competition. Let's face it, 7-Eleven doesn't deliver."
- Sachs, Mark (2005-06-30). "From 'Pink Flamingos' to the Pink Dot". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-07-18.
- Sarkisian, Nola L. "Lazy people of L.A., rejoice: Pink Dot is expanding.". Los Angeles Business Journal. Retrieved 2009-07-18.
- "Transit connect offers cargo space, reliability to grocery service that caters to customers". Retrieved 2009-07-18.
- George White SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA ENTERPRISE; Convenience Stores; Grocery Deliverers Find a Time-Strapped Audience page 1 August 21, 1996 Los Angeles Times
- Leslie EarnestO.C. Business Plus; HEARD ON THE BEAT / RETAIL; Pink Dot Dumps Its Funky Beetle July 7, 1999 Los Angeles Times
- Brent HopkinsCompetitors: Online Grocery Service Webvan Expanded Too Quickly. Daily News (Los Angeles, California)July 10, 2001
- Sandoval, Greg. "Pink Dot takes grocery Web site national". CNET News. Retrieved 2009-07-18.