- Bi-Lo has struck a deal with Instacart to provide delivery service to customers of most of the grocery chain’s stores, according to an email sent to Grocery Dive. The more than 70 stores where the service is available are located in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
- Customers may schedule orders up to two weeks in advance through Instacart’s "order ahead” feature, which the e-commerce provider launched in early April as part of its effort to handle increased demand driven by the pandemic. Orders will be left at customers’ doors by default.
- Bi-Lo also offers delivery services through Shipt, which began partnering with the grocery chain in 2018.
Instacart’s addition of Bi-Lo to the list of supermarket chains for which it fulfills online orders comes as the availability of e-commerce services at the nation’s grocery stores is on the rise amid continued strong demand from customers.
Online grocery spending hit $6.6 billion May, a 24% increase over the previous month, as about 43 million customers placed online grocery orders, according to data from Brick Meets Click and Mercatus. Fourteen percent of consumers polled by Gallup in mid-May reported using grocery delivery services more, and use of curbside pickup services from grocery and non-grocery retail locations rose from 19% to 36%.
Aldi announced last week that it is working with Instacart to expand pickup services to nearly 600 of its approximately 1,900 U.S. stores following a successful test at a smaller number of locations.
Meanwhile, The Giant Company is adding pickup services to more stores in central Pennsylvania, the Patriot News reported. The move follows the grocer’s January announcement that it planned to build a new e-commerce fulfillment center and pickup facility in Philadelphia — its second in Pennsylvania — as part of a $114 million, 18-month project to expand its operations in the state.
Ballooning online sales have fueled a bonanza for Instacart, which handles online services for more than 300 grocery chains. The company’s revenues have surged in 2020 due to the pandemic, and it has been on a hiring binge, announcing in late April that it intended to hire 250,000 shoppers over two months. In March, Instacart unveiled plans to bring on 300,000 new shoppers. According an April report from The Information, Instacart recently posted its ever first profit, buoyed by triple-digit sales growth.