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Publix expands Instacart delivery in central Florida

Service offered in over 90% of southeastern grocer’s market area

Next week, Publix Super Markets will launch online grocery delivery via Instacart in its hometown of Lakeland, Fla., and surrounding areas.

The southeastern retailer said Wednesday that the same-day service — dubbed Publix Delivery powered by Instacart — will become available on June 28 at stores in Auburndale, Bartow, Haines City, Mulberry, Plant City and Winter Haven, as well as Lakeland.

Publix said it now offers Instacart delivery in 92% of its operating area, which encompasses 1,187 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.

Customers using the delivery service are more likely to view only in-stock items because Publix shares product availability by store directly with Instacart, the supermarket chain noted. And unlike similar grocery delivery services, Publix Delivery doesn’t require a membership fee and is the only service that provides delivery of alcohol and liquor from Publix stores, the company said.

Publix announced its grocery delivery partnership with Instacart in July 2016 and began piloting the service that month in the greater Miami area. Then last June, the retailer starting rolling out Instacart delivery across its seven-state operating area in the southeast and said it plans to have the service available in all of its markets by 2020.

In select locations, the chain also offers a click-and-collect service via Instacart called Publix Curbside. Online grocery customers choose the curbside pickup option at checkout, go to the store at the designated delivery time, park in the Publix Curbside space, and call the store using the number on the sign. A Publix associate then retrieves the order and loads the customer’s car.

Publix unveiled the Instacart-powered curbside pickup service in September, testing it in two Florida stores and later expanding the pilot to metropolitan Atlanta stores.

Same-day online grocery delivery from Publix stores also is available through Shipt, a Target Corp. subsidiary. Earlier this month, Shipt announced a major expansion in the southeast that included Publix locations in Ocala, Key West, Lakeland and Pensacola, Fla., and in Augusta, Ga., where the service is scheduled to launch June 21.

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