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This article was published on April 22, 2013

    Instacart adds Costco to its same-day grocery delivery service, store membership not required

    Instacart adds Costco to its same-day grocery delivery service, store membership not required
    Alex Wilhelm
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    Alex Wilhelm

    Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected] Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected]

    Instacart, the quickly growing grocery delivery service today added Costco to its list of stores that users can browse digitally and shop from. Key to this addition: Instacart does not requires its users to be Costco members to have its wares delivered to their domicile.

    There are a few caveats, of course: While Instacart services three markets in the Bay Area, the Costco delivery service will service San Francisco only, to start. Also, the fee associated with delivery from its stores will be higher, clocking in at $9.99 for your collection of items, stiffer than the normal $3.99 rate.

    Instacart told TNW that its 2-hour delivery option provides a speed that Costco delivery does not match. That, and its service provides more selection than Costco’s delivery option, at a lower or similar price. The Costco option will be available across Instacart’s normal platforms: iPhone, the Web, and iPad.

    Apoorva Mehta, founder of Instacart, told TNW that for many of its users, the service has become “the only place where they shop for all their groceries.”  Instacart itself has enjoyed a long period of growth. The company now has 150 individuals who shop for you and deliver the goods. The company most recently added Whole Foods to its list of stores.

    Asked when alcohol sales and delivery will return to the service, Instacart simply said that it hasn’t been a priority – for shame – but that they will likely return at some point. Adding new stores, it said, has been its focus.

    Instacart isn’t alone in its efforts to make quick grocery delivery a reality. PocketShop in London is looking to do the same, offering one hour delivery. Similar to Instacart, PocketShop offer tiered delivery: within one hour or three. Other services, such as Zaarly and Postmates are in the space as well.

    Grocery delivery is an idea that failed in the first dotcom bust. I sincerely hope that the unit economics behind Instacart remain viable. After all, who  likes to leave their flat?

    Top Image Credit: Leann Warren