BJ's Wholesale Club has teamed up with Instacart to provide a range of grocery items available for delivery in the Philadelphia area. BJ's joins Whole Foods (NASDAQ: WFM), Trader Joe's, Costco (NASDAQ: COST) and Safeway (NYSE:SWY) in offering fresh food items through Instacart's same-day service.
The collaboration with BJ's comes just one month after Instacart launched in Philadelphia. The delivery service has seen rapid growth since its launch in 2012, with more service areas added in Chicago and plans to expand in the San Francisco Bay area by the end of 2014.
Partnering with BJ's makes for an interesting combination, considering that the warehouse club charges its members $50 to $100 each year for a membership. Instacart customers will not have to pay annual fees, but can still take advantage of the discounted bulk items the club offers via Instacart's business account perks. Instacart provides the same service for Costco, also waiving the membership fee for purchases.
Instacart is powered by software that connects customers to existing grocery stores and a small army of people who have signed up to be independent shoppers. Shoppers place their orders online and Instacart delivers them in as little as an hour or at a scheduled time.
While Instacart sets its own prices, which may vary from those seen in grocery stores, and users can't take advantage of a store's daily sale prices, regular coupons or store loyalty cards for discounts, it can be a big convenience for those with busy schedules or commuters without vehicles.
-See this Philadelphia Business Journal article
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