CHICAGO —, an on-line grocer, has launched more than 100 virtual grocery stores at commuter rail stations in Boston, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Chicago. The virtual stores are the first of their kind in the United States. They feature billboards of larger-than-life grocery aisles on the train platforms in the participating cities. Commuters with iPhones, iPads or Android phones may scan a QR code on the billboards to download a free PeapodMobile app and start shopping on the spot by scanning bar codes of the products displayed in the “aisles.”

Peapod is partnering in the venture with national consumer products brands, including Barilla, Coca-Cola Co., Kimberly Clark, Procter & Gamble and Reckitt Benckiser. The virtual stores will include staples like coffee, condiments and cleaning products; soft drinks, snacks and cereal; milk and bread; health and beauty products; and fresh fruits and vegetables.

“Getting your groceries on the way home from work just got a whole new meaning,” said Mike Brennan, chief operating officer of Peapod. “With schedules that are more demanding than ever and people spending 200+ hours a year in transit, our hope is that consumers will take advantage of our virtual stores and mobile app while they’re on the go and enjoy the time saved when they’re at home.”

First-time Peapod customers will need to register on in order to complete their first PeapodMobile order on their smartphones.

Founded in 1989, Peapod is the largest Internet grocer in the United States, serving 24 markets throughout Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Wisconsin. The company has delivered more than 22 million grocery orders since its inception.