by Nick Fierro
It used to be the case that if you went grocery shopping in your pajamas, you'd be thrown out of the store.
That all changes now.
Starting today, fast grocery delivery will be available the touch of a button as Instacart makes its debut throughout St. Louis. The San Francisco-based online service, which launched in 2012, is already available in more than 30 markets across the country, offering on-demand deliveries in as little as one hour.
The introduction of the service into the St. Louis area should prove a blessing for people with busy schedules or limited access to transportation — as well as all you social recluses who hate to deal with anyone IRL.
The process is simple: users log onto Instacart’s app or website, select from a range of local stores and compile their grocery list. A personal shopper completes the order while providing customized, real-time feedback on items, prices and delivery time, which can be scheduled up to six days in advance.
Instacart is partnering with local retailers including Schnucks, Shop ‘n Save, and Straub’s in addition to national chains like Whole Foods, Petco and Costco (where Instacart users can shop without a membership). Although the service charges a premium for some stores and products, Instacart promises in-store prices with certain local partners, including Schnucks, as well as select sales and promotions.
In a prepared statement, Instacart GM Dave Osborne says the expansion has been in the works since mid-2016. Almost 200 contractors have been hired throughout the city.
“Many people are hesitant to let other people do their grocery shopping,” Osborne said in a prepared statement. “I would encourage St. Louis residents to give Instacart a shot. First-time customers often tell us how life-changing it can be — getting all the time back that they used to spend shopping and receiving deliveries of the highest quality groceries, hand-picked by professional shoppers.”
Instacart offers free delivery on first-time orders over $35, with service fees on a sliding scale for subsequent orders: $5.99 for two-hour delivery, and $9.99 for one-hour delivery.