Schnucks this week kicked off grocery home delivery in Evansville with its vendor, Instacart, and it was an instant hit.
Store officials said their phones were ringing off the hook with questions about how to use the service, and a free first delivery is being offered.
At Schnucks’ Washington Avenue store on Wednesday morning, greenshirted Instacart shoppers were already filling carts, going through checkout and making deliveries.
The service is easy to use, said Kevin Duff, Instacart’s Indiana operations manager. Customers may either create an account at schnucks.com or instacart.com.
The shopper can then start filling up a virtual cart.
“Everything is searchable,” Duff said. “It’s going to pull up the staples right away, but the whole inventory of Schnucks is available through Instacart. Our engineers are amazing, the app and technology they have built. As you continue to order, it will start knowing who you are and what you like. It will give recommendations. It’s really easy to be able to get through.”
Prescriptions, tobacco products and alcoholic beverages can’t be part of a home delivery.
For a $35 minimum grocery purchase, the fee for a one-time delivery is about $6. It’s about $15 for a month, and unlimited deliveries for a year are about $150. The person delivering the groceries will meet residents at their door.
Instacart, which is based in San Francisco and works with several store chains, finds that many demographics are interested in home grocery delivery, for many reasons.
“There’s the busy professional,the busy parent, the senior population,” Duff said. “Or people who have been hurt and aren’t as mobile.”
“The one thing you can’t buy enough of is time,” he added. “People are understanding of the value of their time. There are some who will say, I’d rather go home and play with my kids than spend time at the grocery store.”
Instacart has thus far hired 65 shoppers to make deliveries from Schnucks’ six stores in the Evansville area. Information is available at instacart.com.
“It’s extremely flexible,” Duff said. “What people are telling us is they want to work when they want to work. I have plenty of people who drop their kids off at school and work a morning shift, and others work a full-time job and are looking for extra, and they pick up hours on the side.”
Schnucks began delivering in its home market, St. Louis, in February, and it quickly grew. There were 150 Instacart shoppers employed there at launch, and now there are about 500.
“Withing the first couple hours, it was Instacart’s most successful launch ever in any major city,” said Chace Mac-Mullan, director of digital marketing with Schnucks.