- Sprouts Farmers Market will expand pickup service across its network of nearly 340 stores by early next month, according to a company press release.
- Starting Thursday, the company will enable curbside pickup at 25 California stores. The company will announce further rollouts at a later date. Prior to the announcement, Sprouts offered click-and-collect at 55 stores.
- The service, offered through e-commerce provider Instacart, lets shoppers select from more than 12,000 products. Personal shoppers pick and pack orders and deliver them to consumers’ cars once they arrive in the store parking lot.
Sprouts’ e-commerce service has mostly focused on delivery, allowing the grocer to expand its coverage area around its far-flung collection of stores. But with so many customers now moving online, the chain has to expand its fulfillment options.
Instacart’s pickup service, which Sprouts is utilizing, rolled out nationwide last year after seeing higher-than-expected interest in testing. Although delivery offers the convenience of doorstep service, many shoppers appreciate the lower fees and familiar ritual of pulling up to their local store. As the novel coronavirus pandemic has spread, shoppers have found shorter wait times and additional time slots through pickup services offered by Kroger, Walmart and other retailers.
In addition, retailers have begun offering dedicated pickup slots for first responders as well as shoppers that are most vulnerable to COVID-19, including elderly consumers and those with compromised immune systems.
Instacart recently rolled out expanded customer features to its pickup platform, including a customizable navigation tool, order sharing function and a "smart storefront" where shoppers can view delivery and pickup options across stores from one digital storefront. Customers can also enable location-based notifications to let grocers know they’re on their way to collect their order.
The e-commerce company recently announced plans to hire 300,000 additional shoppers, and says it has so far hired 150,000 workers to shop, pack and deliver orders.
To welcome the many new shoppers that are using grocery e-commerce right now, Sprouts has a landing page featuring an introductory video as well as answers to frequently asked questions about its service. Sprouts and Instacart are also waiving fees for first-time pickup and delivery orders over $35.