With online grocery partner Instacart, Schnuck Markets is adding more curbside pickup locations and has enabled electronic benefit transfer (EBT) payment for pickup and delivery orders from Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) customers.
St. Louis-based Schnucks said Tuesday that curbside pickup will become available by this fall at another 12 stores, including seven in Missouri (Charbonier, Jefferson City, Lindenwood, City Plaza, Loughborough, South City and Mid Rivers), four in Illinois (Belleville, West Bethalto, Bloomington and Waterloo) and one in Indiana (Jasper). The 18,000-square-foot store in Jasper, due to open Aug. 18, will mark the debut of Schnucks Fresh, a new store format focusing on fresh food.
The expansion will give Schnucks 82 stores with curbside service. Last November, the regional grocer added 10 pickup sites. Overall, the supermarket chain operates Schnucks operates 110 stores in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.
To use curbside service, Schnucks customers go online to schnucksdelivers.com, select the “pickup” option and choose a time. After completing their purchase, they will receive a text/app message with store parking and pickup instructions. The grocery order is kept in a designated area of the store, with temperature-sensitive items placed in refrigerators, freezers or warming units. When customers arrive at the store, Schnucks associates will bring the items to their vehicles. Schnucks Rewards loyalty points also can be earned on all Curbside Pickup orders.
Schnucks debuted its Curbside Pickup service — an expansion of its Schnucks Delivers home delivery partnership with Instacart — in November 2018. At the time, the retailer noted that it was the first traditional grocer to offer the service in the St. Louis area. Schnucks launched Schnucks Delivers with Instacart in the St. Louis area in February 2017.
In support of the expanded pickup, the $1.99 Curbside Pickup fee has been waived for orders of $35 or more at all Schnucks Curbside locations. A $3.99 fee applies for orders less than $35.
“With the goal of providing our customers a seamless shopping experience, curbside pickup is a convenient option for those who are time-strained and always on the go,” Chace MacMullan, director of digital experience at Schnuck Markets, said in a statement. “Schnucks shoppers can balance their busy lifestyles by ordering a full grocery order and then swing by their Schnucks store and have their purchases brought directly to their vehicle.”
In addition, late Monday, Schnucks said SNAP customers can now use EBT to pay for delivery and curbside pickup orders from all of its stores.
After creating a profile on the Instacart website or mobile app, Schnucks SNAP customers enter their EBT card information as a form of payment. They also will need to enter a secondary form of payment for nonfood charges, such as taxes, tips and fees. Next, customers select a local Schnucks store and begin shopping for EBT-eligible products. Once items are put into the cart, they will be able to allocate the amount of SNAP benefits for their order.
Schnucks noted that the SNAP EBT online shopping launch follows the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s announcement in April that extended Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) benefits to the summer for families with children facing financial hardships. The grocer said it also recently received approval from the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service, which manages the SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot, to launch its SNAP online partnership with San Francisco-based Instacart.
Lack of transportation is a common obstacle to shopping at the grocery store, and the SNAP EBT online payment option provides greater access for many customers, according to Bob Hardester, chief information and supply chain officer at Schnucks.
“One of our community pillars at Schnucks is to help the communities that we serve fight food insecurity and hunger,” Hardester explained. “Extending EBT SNAP eligibility to Schnucks Delivers and Curbside Pickup orders increases accessibility to nutritious food and sustenance to those most in need in the areas we serve.”
To help subsidize costs for SNAP participants, Instacart is waiving delivery and pickup fees on the first three EBT SNAP orders for Schnucks customers through Sept. 16. Curbside service remains free on orders of $35 or more.
“We’re proud to partner with Schnucks to provide more families with a convenient and accessible way to get their fresh food and pantry staples,” stated David Healy, who oversees retail partnerships at Instacart. “Expanding EBT SNAP to reach same-day online grocery delivery and pickup is important to help Americans access the food they need, and we look forward to introducing this payment integration across four states with Schnucks.”