Kroger and Instacart offer 30min delivery from virtual stores

  • September 28, 2021
  • Steve Rogerson

Kroger and Instacart have launched a nationwide 30-minute delivery service in the USA enabled by a virtual convenience store.

Kroger, America’s largest grocery retailer, and California-based online grocery platform Instacart have launched Kroger Delivery Now, a service powered by a virtual convenience store that is fulfilled by the Kroger family of stores and provides fresh groceries and household essentials.

The service is offering 25,000 items, combining customer favourites with quick and easy doorstep delivery, whether they’re shopping for a meal, snack, last-minute ingredient, over-the-counter medication or diapers.

“Kroger Delivery Now is a differentiated solution in the ecommerce industry, not just the grocery sector,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s CEO. “Our new service provides customers with one more way to shop with us and addresses the importance of convenience and immediacy. Operationally, this service reaches up to 50 million households and it’s an expansion of our thriving ecommerce model that demonstrates strategic interplay among our assets, expansive store network, supply chain, and dedicated fulfilment centres and fleet, joined by Instacart’s unrivalled fulfilment model and last-mile technology to provide our customers with anything, anytime, anywhere without compromise.”

Last year, Kroger achieved more than $10bn in ecommerce sales, and McMullen said it was committed to doubling both its digital sales and profitability rate by the end of 2023.

Convenience continues to be one of the most popular categories on Instacart, with orders up more than 150% since May 2021. Demand for rapid delivery also continues to grow, with nearly 20% of customers selecting priority delivery at checkout today. By using Kroger’s existing network of more than 2700 stores, Kroger Delivery Now creates a virtual convenience experience that makes faster delivery possible from Kroger stores, benefiting customers across the USA who live near a store, including Kroger, Ralphs, Fred Meyer, King Soopers, Fry’s, Mariano’s and Smith’s locations.

Instacart is also unveiling the Convenience Hub on the Instacart Marketplace, an experience that streamlines convenience shopping for customers. Through the hub, customers in nearly every major US city can shop for convenience essentials 24 hours a day, seven days a week with free priority delivery in as fast as 30 minutes for Instacart Express members on orders over $10.

“We’re proud to expand our long-time, strategic partnership with Kroger and together unveil Kroger Delivery Now, an entirely new way for customers to access convenience delivery nationwide,” said Fidji Simo, Instacart CEO. “Kroger Delivery Now reimagines the modern convenience store by leveraging the entire network of iconic Kroger family of stores brands to offer 30-minute delivery to customers for the first time nationwide. Instacart has become a powerful retail enablement platform and today’s expansion of our Kroger partnership is another example of our commitment to develop new solutions that help retailers grow and meet the evolving needs of their businesses and customers.”

McMullen added: “Instacart is one of our strategic partners and their industry-leading scale and ingenuity complements Kroger’s best-in-class assets, digital strategy, and expanding seamless ecosystem, helping enable us to continue growing our business. Kroger Delivery Now reinforces our commitment to leading with fresh and accelerating with digital in an environment of increased and sustained customer expectations for fresh food on demand. This service is truly a gamechanger and we’re eager to continue leading the way by expanding our ecosystem and leveraging our complementary assets to deliver a seamless experience with our total network of assets, including enterprising and innovative last-mile solutions – today’s true competitive horsepower – in the most scalable, sustainable and profitable way to advance our business and create a consistent and rewarding customer experience whether they want groceries now or tomorrow.”

Kroger and Instacart first partnered in 2017 and today offer two-hour grocery delivery and now 30-minute delivery nationwide. The companies expanded their partnership in 2019 to include alcohol delivery, and today Instacart powers alcohol delivery from nearly 1500 Kroger stores across 15 states.

Instacart has partnered with more than 600 national, regional and local retailers, including unique brand names, to deliver from nearly 55,000 stores across more than 5500 cities in North America. Its platform is available to over 85% of US and 80% of Canadian households.