Following up on swift expansion of its online grocery delivery service, Instacart is gearing up for a national launch of curbside pickup at leading supermarket chains.
The click-and-collect service, called Instacart Pickup, is slated to be rolled out in nearly 200 grocery stores across 25 key metropolitan markets, including San Francisco, Atlanta, Nashville, Boston, Charlotte, Minneapolis and the District of Columbia, Instacart said Wednesday.
Retailers include current Instacart delivery partners such as Publix Super Markets, Sprouts Farmers Market, Smart & Final, Wegmans Food Markets, Aldi, Schnuck Markets, Food Lion, Tops Friendly Markets, Price Chopper and Cub Foods.
Plans call for San Francisco-based Instacart to work with existing and new retail partners nationwide to add Instacart Pickup over the coming months and throughout 2019.
Instacart said the national launch of the click-and-collect service comes after positive feedback from grocery retail partners participating in a months-long pilot of the service.
“Our customers want choice, and we’re excited to now offer the pickup option they’ve been asking for,” Nilam Ganenthiran, chief business officer at Instacart, said in a statement.
“In our house, sometimes the ritual of going to the grocery store is inspiring and helps us meal plan for the week. Other times, we’re busy and can’t get to the store, so delivery makes life easier for us,” Ganenthiran explained. “For families that are out and about and running errands, a pickup solution might be a better fit for their family rhythm. I’m excited to work with our existing retail partners to now offer Instacart Pickup and look forward to adding more grocers over the coming months and expanding this service to even more families.”
Instacart Pickup works as follows: Customers access the service online at instacart.com or via the Instacart mobile app, choose their city and store, add groceries to their virtual shopping cart, and then select a pickup time window before checking out. When their order is ready, shoppers receive an in-app alert. Customers then send an in-app notification to their Instacart personal shopper to let them know when they’re on the way to the store. An Instacart shopper or store associate will bring the groceries out to the customer’s vehicle upon arrival.
Through Instacart Pickup, customers can shop online for fresh produce, meat, seafood and other food essentials and pick up their groceries at their retailer of choice, Instacart noted. The service is free for members of the Instacart Express program, which offers unlimited free delivery for orders over $35.
"We're proud to offer our customers more ways to get the groceries they need when they want them," commented Ed Rick, director of consumer marketing and digital at Tops Friendly Markets, based in Williamsville, N.Y. "Instacart Pickup is the perfect option for busy Tops customers who are on the go and want the flexibility and convenience to shop when and how they want while still getting access to Tops groceries."
The addition of a click-and-collect service extends Instacart’s already long reach in the U.S. retail grocery space. The company said it serves more than 15,000 grocery stores in 4,000 cities and has a dedicated community of 70,000 shoppers. Other major retail partners include The Kroger Co., Loblaw Cos., Sam’s Club, Albertsons Cos. and Walmart Canada.
Currently, Instacart can be accessed by more than 70% of U.S. households and in all 50 states and by over 50% of Canadian households, according to the company.
Last month, Instacart announced $600 million in new funding earmarked for additional expansion in North America and marketing investments to raise awareness of its service at grocery stores.