- Instacart has added 24/7 delivery service from select retailers that are open around the clock, the e-commerce company announced on Tuesday.
- Safeway, 7-Eleven, CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens are among the retailers adding around-the-clock service from Instacart at select stores. Additionally, Instacart is extending its regular hours to accommodate retailers who are not 24/7 but are open beyond Instacart's traditional business hours, the company said.
- The expanded hours of service for Instacart arrive at a time when competition is heating up for faster delivery of small, impulse-driven orders.
Instacart's announcement is the latest effort by the e-commerce provider to serve people looking to order a late-night snack or missing a crucial item, like diapers or a recipe ingredient.
The expanded service hours aim to provide added convenience and flexibility for shoppers, particularly those who prize fill-in trips and instant-needs purchasing. It comes at a time when delivery services like Gopuff, Gorillas, Jokr and other fast-delivery firms are popping up to meet the demand for smaller, time-sensitive orders.
Instacart has also been speeding up its e-commerce services. In May, it launched an express service in more than a dozen cities, providing delivery in as little as 30 minutes and also expanding 45-minute and 1-hour delivery options. On Tuesday, Instacart and Kroger debuted a virtual convenience store that offers 25,000 items like fresh food, meal solutions, snacks and other products for delivery in 30-minutes.
Instacart said it expects many of the late-night orders to be smaller, convenience-driven ones. The company’s regular hours have delivery windows starting as early as 9 a.m. and running as late as midnight, per its website.
The shift to extended operating hours and 24/7 service also allows Instacart's gig workforce more flexibility for when they want to work, the company noted, saying they will be able to choose if they want to accept night orders. As for safety concerns of after-hours shopping, Instacart listed several suggested precautions, like wearing brightly-colored clothing. It also cited a few resources it provides, like emergency services calling and safety incident reporting.