Following a recent test, Family Dollar Stores plans to roll out Instacart same-day delivery to more than 6,000 stores.
Under the partnership, Family Dollar customers can order online from a selection of household goods, pantry items, baby care essentials, electronics, office and school supplies, and personal care products and have them delivered to their homes in as soon as an hour, San Francisco-based Instacart said Thursday. Orders can be placed via Family Dollar’s Instacart web page or the Instacart mobile app.
Family Dollar’s expansion of Instacart delivery builds on a 275-store pilot launched late last year. A subsidiary of Dollar Tree Inc., Family Dollar operates more than 7,800 stores overall in 46 states, mainly in rural and urban locations.
“Providing same-day delivery is another example of our efforts to better meet the evolving needs of our Family Dollar shoppers,” Dollar Tree President and CEO Mike Witynski said in a statement. “We are encouraged by the initial results of our pilot stores, and are pleased to expand the Instacart platform to more than 6,000 Family Dollar stores across the country.”
For all orders, Instacart personal shoppers pick, pack and deliver the items within the customer’s designated delivery time frame, which can be in an hour or scheduled days in advance.
“Whether stocking up the fridge or pantry, enhancing a home office or virtual school space, or buying everyday at-home essentials, we know value and affordability are top of mind for people across the country,” according to Chris Rogers, vice president of retail at Instacart. “Family Dollar offers a variety of low-cost items for the entire family, and we’re proud to partner with them to offer same-day delivery nationwide. As one of the nation's fastest-growing retailers, we’re excited to help Family Dollar connect with and serve the delivery needs of their customers, and look forward to partnering with them to offer even more selection and choice to customers on the Instacart marketplace.”
Witynski reported Family Dollar’s pilot with Instacart, and discussed the dollar store chain’s other e-commerce efforts, in a late November conference call with analysts on third-quarter financial results.
“During the quarter, we launched the ability to sell product directly on our website at FamilyDollar.com, providing customers another way to access great values. Additionally, we are early in the test phases of the following initiatives: buy online and pickup at store and delivery options through Instacart and Shipt. There will be more to come on future calls,” he said.
Initiated in the mid-to-late fourth quarter, the delivery pilot showed strong customer baskets, according to Witynski.
“We really like the basket size. We like the product that they are buying inside the basket, and we’re excited about offering that opportunity to our customers as they shift in some of their behaviors,” he told analysts. “The beautiful thing is, we are a 15,000-store chain, and we’re conveniently located in their neighborhoods. And should they want to buy online and pick up in-store or get it delivered at home, we’re going to have that capability as well. But it’s really early for us. We do like the basket we’re seeing and the mix of product.”
In-store pickup is in the works for Family Dollar and Dollar Tree, Witynski said in response to an analyst question. “We think it’s critical and especially after this year, as you’ve seen others and how the customer is really moving into omnichannel. So we definitely are going to build that capability at both Family Dollar and Dollar Tree,” he said. “And like we've organized around our Dollar Tree Plus! [format], we are organizing around our omnichannel business as well. We’ve got a new leader there who’s got great experience, and we will accelerate our capabilities.”
Family Dollar marks the first national dollar-store chain with Instacart same-day delivery, which isn’t offered at its sister Dollar Tree stores or at rival Dollar General.
Overall, Dollar Tree Inc. has 15,606 stores in 48 states and five Canadian provinces under the banners Dollar Tree, Family Dollar and Dollar Tree Canada.