Ahold, the international retailer that owns Giant Food Stores, announced earlier this week that starting this Friday, Peapod will offer service to Philadelphia and Delaware counties, as well as the southern portion of Montgomery county. Peapod is an Internet-based home shopping and grocery delivery service.

Customers will be able to order groceries online through Peapod.com or through PeapodMobile, a free app available for iPhone/iPad, Android and Palm Pre users. Orders can be delivered the next day.

According to a story in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Peapod fills orders from an Internet-only storage warehouse in Maryland. Groceries are placed in temperature-controlled tote bags before being shipped by truck to a central location, where they are placed on smaller trucks and delivered to customers. Delivery fees start at $9.95 for a $60 minimum order and go down as the order size increases.