Instacart, an internet-based grocery and retail delivery service where personal shoppers hand-pick and deliver items from local partnered stores, is now available in Fort Lauderdale. The expansion into Broward County marks the second market to launch in Florida outside Miami-Dade.
Starting August 24, Fort Lauderdale residents in 11 zip codes (33301, 33304, 33305, 33306, 33308, 33309, 33311, 33312, 33315, 33316, 33334) can order from retailers like Whole Foods Market, Publix, Total Wine & More, or Petco and have their groceries and/or goods delivered straight to their doorstep — all in as little as one hour.
"Customer demand to bring Instacart to Fort Lauderdale has been very high," said Nick Friedrich, the general manager for Instacart. "Our streamlined shopping and delivery experience gives customers access to the freshest and highest quality products within an hour of ordering. What's not to love?"
Unlike other delivery services, Instacart dispatches couriers to shop, avoiding the need to stock warehouse shelves or manage trucks. At some stores, including Whole Foods, Instacart has embedded personal shoppers who use devoted checkout lanes and pass off orders to drivers.
The company, founded in 2012, currently operates in 25 U.S. markets. It makes money from charging delivery fees, as well charging higher than retail prices for some items, or through commissions paid by the grocer.
The benefits for local stores are worth the extra incentive according to Jeff Jenkins, Whole Foods Market's global executive coordinator of digital strategy.
"Whole Foods Market prides itself in delivering a high level of quality to our customers," said Jenkins. "Our partnership with Instacart ensures that we can continue to maintain a high level of service while providing a creative solution to a wider customer base outside our Fort Lauderdale store."
How does Instacart work? Customers can order online or use the Instacart mobile app on their iPhone or Android devices. Once connected, select the city or store you'd like to order from, add items to a virtual cart, and choose a delivery window (within one hour, within two hours, or up to seven days in advance). Last, check out — ah, no lines! — and an Instacart personal shopper will handle the rest.
Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.