Online groceries, home delivery comes to WNY


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Starting Tuesday Wegmans customers can buy their groceries without leaving home. The popular supermarket chain has partnered with an on-demand fulfillment company that allows customers to order their groceries online and have them delivered right to their front door.

San Francisco-based Instacart will be delivering groceries to Wegmans customers, pet items to customers of Petco, and providing similar service for Price Rite and CVS. Wegmans, however, is the main reason Instacart is setting up shop in Upstate New York.

To get their groceries or other goods delivered, customers will need a smartphone or other connected device, such as a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer.

East Coast Operations Manager Kyle Carnes said Instacart has already hired 150 shoppers for the Buffalo area, whose jobs are to fulfill customer orders from store shelves, pay for them, and deliver the goods to the customer’s doorstep. Carnes expects that number to reach 200 hires shortly.

“We are really excited about the Buffalo market. Demand is already really high from tomorrow onward, we are hiring shoppers as fast as we can. Wegmans is an amazing brand and that is obvious from demand.”

But first the customer has to be connected to the Internet, “They can go to our website, at Instacart.com, or download our mobile app on the Google Play store or the Apple Store and they can literally start ordering right away.”

While Dash’s Market is already offering home delivery at its stores, the grocery fulfillment sector is reaching a whole new level, starting Tuesday.

But the home delivery scenario promises to get even more interesting: Instacart is also partnered with Whole Foods, and when Western New York’s first Whole Foods store opens in Amherst later this month, Instacart will be delivering to Whole Foods customers.

That partnership could be short-lived because Whole Foods is being bought out for $13 billion by Amazon, the “Godzilla” of online shopping.

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