Whole Foods Market announced Monday morning that it is launching a new, national grocery delivery and pickup service, part of a major initiative as the Austin, Texas-based organic-food giant looks to expand its footprint against a growing list of fierce competitors.
Whole Foods said it is partnering with San Francisco-based Instacart – the fast-growing, online grocery-delivery service that works with various retailers – to launch the new, formalized partnership in 15 major U.S. cities.
With the move, Whole Foods becomes the first national Instacart partner to offer both delivery and in-store pickup, which lets customers place orders through the Instacart website or mobile app offering a menu of grocery options.
The two companies will pilot the in-store-pickup service allowing customers to pick up orders at select Austin and Boston locations in the coming month, executives said.
Although Instacart has already been doing delivery service from Whole Foods Markets in the past few months, the game changer with Monday’s announcement is that the San Francisco company will now have an embedded shopper in the organic-food stores to speed up orders. Previously, Instacart shoppers would make the various rounds to different retailers after orders were placed.
“Instacart makes it extremely easy for our customers to buy Whole Foods Market products from 15 cities and have them quickly delivered — whether buying fresh ingredients for dinner tonight or sending healthy foods to loved ones in another city,” Walter Robb, Co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to add this additional convenience for our customers.”