Armed with its legion of “shoppers,” a Silicon Valley company wants its piece of the competitive Richmond grocery market.
Instacart, a grocery delivery service that allows customers to order goods from various stores in the area, has launched in Richmond. The service went live Wednesday.
Instacart’s website gives customers their pick of stores to order from – including Wegman’s, Whole Foods, Costco, Petco and CVS – and dispatches its “shoppers” to collect and deliver groceries. Publix also will be available to Richmond customers upon opening its first local store this weekend.
“We’ve been looking at Richmond for a while, and we’re expanding really rapidly,” Mid-Atlantic operations manager Sam Donoghue said.
Deliveries can be scheduled from within an hour to a week in advance. Delivery fees start at $6 for orders $35 and over, and $8 for orders below $35. Orders can be placed online or via mobile app.
Instacart’s delivery range includes Glen Allen, Short Pump, Midlothian, Lakeside, Downtown and more.
“We want to bring our delivery service to everyone. We have a rule of thumb as a 20 minute drive time for delivery radius,” Donoghue said.
Upon launching, Instacart brought on 100 shoppers in Richmond, with plans to add more.
The privately held company launched in 2012 and operates in more than 90 markets nationwide.
Food delivery, both from grocery stores and restaurants, has been a hot market in Richmond lately.
In April, two area Kroger stores began offering grocery delivery through the company’s online ordering platform, Clicklist. Earlier in 2017, bike courier Quickness RVA rolled out a new online ordering platform with a focus on local restaurants and retailers. UberEats arrived on the scene in March.