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Target joins the Instacart bandwagon


Target is entering the grocery delivery fray by offering its customers same-day delivery of groceries and other items through Instacart as a way to challenge Amazon and other retailers.

Target announced Tuesday it would begin testing an on-demand grocery delivery service via Instacart that initially will only be available in parts of Minneapolis, where Target is headquartered. But the retailer noted in a release on its blog A Bullseye View that the two companies are already exploring plans to expand the service into additional areas and markets in the future.

“Target wants to serve guests on their terms, however they want to shop with us,” said Jason Goldberger, president of and Mobile. “We’re excited to offer on-demand delivery service with Instacart, a true leader in this space. Our partnership with Instacart is one more way Target is delivering on our Expect More. Pay Less. brand promise.”

Instacart already has relationships with other large retailers, including Whole Foods, Petco, and Costco. Amazon, the world’s largest e-commerce retailer, has promoted its grocery delivery service with free 30-day trials in some markets. Google Inc. last week announced plans to begin testing a delivery service for groceries and fresh food later this year in San Francisco and one other city.

“Instacart and Target share a deep commitment to customer satisfaction and convenient shopping,” said Apoorva Mehta Founder and CEO of Instacart. “As one of our most requested retailers, we are very excited to offer our customers the opportunity to shop at this nationally beloved store.”

Instacart also announced that it has expanded into Minneapolis, its 18th metropolitan area market.

According to Mehta, the company chose Minneapolis as its 18th major market based primarily on a high volume of customer and retailer requests.

“We received a lot of interest for our service from the community -- both to use and partner with Instacart,” said Mehta. “Those factors lead to an ideal market for Instacart delivery, and we look forward to servicing Minneapolis with the great mix of stores we have signed on as retail partners.”

Originally launched in San Francisco, and since expanded into many other cities, Instacart has fundamentally changed the traditional grocery delivery space by connecting customers with personal shoppers who shop for and deliver grocery orders in as little as one hour. This eliminates the need for costly infrastructure such as inventory, warehouses and trucks. In January 2015, Forbes named Instacart “America’s Most Promising Company.”

Instacart’s initial delivery area in Minneapolis covers the metro area including: Downtown, Dinkytown, University of Minnesota Campus, Edina, St. Louis Park, Uptown, Richfield, and Hopkins.

No Costco membership is required. Customers who are already members of The Wedge and Lakewinds Co-ops can enter their member numbers when they order via Instacart to ensure that purchases are applied toward their patronage refund.

Instacart has hired around 150 shoppers -- about 100 of those part-time employees -- to kick off its Minneapolis operations with more to come as the service grows in the area.

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