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April 7, 2014

US: Online service Instacart enters Los Angeles

US food delivery service Instacart has started doing business in Los Angeles, its seventh city since its launch in San Francisco in 2012.

By Dean Best

US food delivery service Instacart has started doing business in Los Angeles, its seventh city since its launch in San Francisco in 2012.

Instacart, which claims to be the only service that can deliver groceries from multiple local stores within an hour, said local demand had prompted its move into the city.

“We expect that the traffic and long commutes in L.A. will drive demand similar to what cold weather does for the east coast. Instacart will allow L.A. residents to avoid making those detours to the grocery store while continuing to get the healthy foods they love,” Apoorva Mehta, the founder of Instacart, said.

Instacart has a “crowdsourced” labour force – dubbed “personal shoppers” – who deliver a consumer’s shopping in their own vehicles. In Los Angeles, Instacart is initially sourcing goods from Whole Foods Market stores only but plans to work with other retailers as it does elsewhere in the US.

“In other cities, we deliver from Safeway, Costco, BJ’s, Shaw’s, Harris Teeter and many smaller regional chains,” a spokesperson told just-food. “We’ll be adding stores and expanding our delivery area in L.A. in the coming weeks.”

Instacart says “the vast majority” of customers select its two-hour delivery option for a charge of US$3.99. One-hour delivery is also available for $14.99. Customers must place an order worth at least $10.

Last June, after receiving $8.5m in funding, Instacart announced plans to add ten cities to its debut city of San Francisco by the end of this year.

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