Aug. 7, 2014 By Michael Florio
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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I don’t think they’re trying to take over the neighborhood, I think they are just trying to make things easier for those who don’t have easy access to those stores and/or who don’t have time. And Ben & Jerry’s? You can’t base this service on what flavor of ice cream is or isn’t available?!
And there is no story to tell, make a positive experience out of it and pick up your B&J ice cream elsewhere.
Only SOME varieties of Ben + Jerry’s are available at each grocery store. How is a guy (or a woman) with a app supposed to know which Ben + Jerry’s they can even GET from this kind of service??? I’m not saying I don’t like it when people have options about shopping, I’m just saying that this doesn’t really tell the whole story in this article. But business is business and this is just another business trying to take over our neighborhood again.
Whole Foods, Whole Foods!!! Please add Whole Foods to your list.
Please add Trader Joes to your service! I use PeaPod now thru StopnShop but they always run out and have a small organic selection.
At those rates how do the “Personal Shoppers” or the company make any money? I know that a run to Costco takes me at least 2 hours from the time it takes me to get there to the time I get back home. I must be missing something.