Spotted in the Oregonian today, this article outlines plans for a grocery delivery service, starting next week in Portland!
The company said it will serve much of the Portland area as well as Beaverton and Aloha, starting immediately. Instacart's "personal shoppers" will pick up and deliver groceries from Whole Foods, Costco and Uwajimaya, with other stores to be added later, the company said. A coverage map will be available at the company's website.
The company sets fees according to how quickly customers want their groceries delivered. A one-hour delivery for a load of groceries costing $35 or more, according to the company website, will cost $5.99. Delivery within two hours costs $3.99. Fees are higher for orders that cost less than $35. The company also offers free deliveries under a $99 annual membership plan.
Bill Babeaux, whose title is Portland City Launcher, said more Portlanders, per capita, asked for service than residents of any other city not served by Instacart.
Quick delivery services have popped up and, often, withered away as losses mounted. The most notorious case was Kozmo, the company that sent couriers on orange scooters on errands to pick up DVDs, books and other small items and deliver them free, within an hour. It burst into national consciousness in the late 1990s with a splash of commercials and publicity, but went out of business in 2001.
Now quick-delivery services are making a comeback, with companies like Caviar, which delivers restaurant food; SpoonRocket, which delivers prepared meals; and Saucey, which delivers booze; joining Instacart in the fast-turnaround business in selected cities. And Uber, the ride-sharing service, is rumored to be preparing to enter the quick-delivery business as well.
Instacart launched in San Francisco and now also operates in Chicago, Boston, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York, Los Angeles, Austin, Seattle, Denver, Atlanta and Southbury, Conn.
— Mike Francis
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