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Whole Foods, Instacart to expand partnership

Whole Foods Market and Instacart on Thursday announced a further expansion of their partnership whereby the retailer will double the number of metro markets and stores offering Instacart as an online shopping and delivery option by the end of the year.

The companies further said they were "looking ahead to create new e-commerce and delivery solutions," together.

The Austin, Texas-based natural foods giant and the San Francisco-based technology and delivery service have worked together since 2014. The new partnership would position Instacart as Whole Foods' largest partner for online ordering and delivery. Collectively, the two companies will deliver more fresh groceries to households in the U.S. than anyone else, they said.

“We’ve seen how much our customers love this fast and convenient way to receive Whole Foods Market groceries right to their door, so we are excited to extend our relationship with Instacart,” Walter Robb, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, said in a statement. “Working together, we will continue to find even more ways to create outstanding shopping experiences — whether they’re happening in the digital space or within the four walls of our stores.”


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The companies did not disclose financial details of the partnership, although Instacart last May said Whole Foods was realizing $1.5 million in weekly sales through Instacart.

Speaking at a conference call last month, Robb said that Instacart sales "continue to grow nicely ... with many stores seeing sales as a percentage of total store in the mid- to high-single-digits and several stores averaging baskets over $100." Whole Foods stores average around $684,000 in weekly sales [this has been corrected from the original article], according to SN's Top 75.

The companies currently partner in 17 U.S. markets — Atlanta; Austin; Boston; Boulder; Chicago; Denver; Houston; Indianapolis; Los Angeles; Miami; New York City; Philadelphia; Portland, Oregon; San Francisco; San Jose; Seattle and Washington, DC. They said Thursday they would add 17 new metro areas this year, beginning with Baltimore and Orange County, Calif., while increasing the number of stores with embedded Instacart shoppers by 50%.

The organizations are also exploring new technology solutions and services that will be piloted this year, they added.

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