CHICAGO
10/01/2012 02:15 pm ET

Peapod Virtual Grocery Stores Coming To Chicago

Chicago will soon be home to dozens more of what have been dubbed the United States' first virtual supermarkets, courtesy of Skokie-based web grocer Peapod.com.

Soon, 17 CTA and Metra train stations throughout the Chicago area will be home to the new virtual grocery stores which will allow smartphone users to buy items using a free app on their iPhones, iPads or Android phones, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Commuters using the virtual markets can "get orders started, make selections from Peapod's entire online store, and schedule home deliveries" for the following day or even several weeks ahead of time, according to a news release.

The grocer initially tested the concept for limited runs in Philadelphia, as well as at the State and Lake CTA station in Chicago earlier this year. A company spokeswoman told the Tribune that mobile downloads for the company's app as well as sales for products featured in the virtual "aisle" increased during the trials.

More than 100 new virtual stores will also be launched in Boston, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. soon, according to the company. The stores' products will vary based on its location and will each feature a section of locally-made specialities, such as Eli's cheesecake and Goose Island brews in Chicago.

Peapod's expansion follows on the heels of supermarket chain Tesco debuting its "virtual fridge" in trial periods in South Korea and the UK earlier this year.

WATCH the supermarkets in action during their Philadelphia trial:

RELATED ON HUFFPOST:

CONVERSATIONS