An online grocery delivery service has just begun serving Western Queens and is looking to take away business from Fresh Direct.
InstaCart, an online grocery delivery service that has been in operation for two years, has branched out into Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside and Woodside.
The company offers an app that allows its users to purchase items from Key Food and Costco and have them delivered to their door.
The company operates very much like Uber, where the company outsources an order to a so-called “personal shopper” who will scurry around through the store, pick up the items and then deliver them to a customer’s door.
The charge for the service depends on the value of the total order, as well as how soon the purchaser wants them.
The company charges consumers with orders totaling $35 or less a delivery fee of $7.99. If the order is needed within an hour, the fee is raised to $9.99
For orders over $35, the standard delivery fee is $3.99. However, if the groceries are needed within an hour, the fee is raised to $5.99.
Originally launched in San Francisco in May 2012, InstaCart began offering its service in Manhattan (below 110th street) in April, and rolled it out in Brooklyn in May.
The company claims that it decided to enter Queens after receiving requests from Astoria and Long Island City residents for the service. However, it noted that surrounding neighborhoods were interested too.
“We’ve heard from many Queens residents…busy parents, young professionals, office managers, among others – so we’re excited to meet growing customer demand.” said Will Nichols, the manager of the New York operation.
“We will initially do deliveries from Key Food and Costco, but we will add other local favorites [supermarkets] to our offerings in the near future,” Nichols said.
Nichols would not comment as to what stores are likely to be added.
The company elected to partner up with Key Food and Costco as part of its Queens launch since it already has existing relationships with these stores in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
“These stores also have a large clientele,” Nichols said.
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