Century Liquor & Wines has become the first wine and spirits store in the Rochester area to offer home delivery by way of Instacart.
The store, which is owned by Danny Wegman, chairman of the board of Wegmans Food Markets, began offering the service and curbside pickup with Instacart on Oct. 31.
“We’re excited about the number of orders we’re getting already. It’s really taking off,” said Century Store Manager Bob Powell. Customers who already use Instacart at Wegmans or other stores don’t have to pay an additional fee to use the service at Century. Delivery costs start at $3.99 but can be free with a minimum purchase and Instacart Express membership.
Unlike purchasing groceries by Instacart, however, customers will have to show identification when ordering from Century to ensure no under-age purchases of alcohol. Powell said the drivers are required to check and scan identification of the customer before they can complete the sale and leave the order.
Powell said he expects the service will be in great use during the holidays as customers opt to use Instacart so they can avoid traffic on Monroe Avenue in Brighton and Pittsford during peak shopping times.
While Century is the only liquor store in the area delivering with Instacart, home delivery is available at other stores, too.
Four Target stores in the Rochester area are the latest to offer drive-up service.
The service allows customers to purchase items online through an app and have them delivered to their car within two minutes of arriving at the Target parking lot. Other stores, such as Wegmans and Walmart, already offer a similar service.
In its latest expansion of alternative forms of convenience shopping, Target is adding Drive Up to stores across Upstate New York, including the Henrietta, Chili, Greece and Irondequoit stores.
Customers must first download the Target app, purchase items online through the app and then select the “Drive Up” option at the virtual checkout. The store notifies the consumer when the items are ready – usually within an hour – for pick-up. Then the customer sends a message that they’re on their way, and drives to a designated spot in the parking lot to accept delivery.
“We’re excited to bring Drive Up to more stores so guests can have more options to get their Target Run done on their terms,” said Dawn Block, senior vice president, digital, at Target.
Among more than 1,500 stores with Drive Up, Target added stores in Hartford, Conn.; Pittsburgh, Altoona and State College, Pa.; and Syracuse, Albany/Schenectady, Binghamton, Ithaca and Buffalo-Niagara Falls in New York.
Target also expanded the service for the first time into New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
When Wegmans began delivery of groceries through a mobile app, prepared foods were left out of the equation. Now that’s been remedied with DoorDash, a delivery service that focuses on restaurant meals.
DoorDash delivery of Wegmans’ prepared meals is now available from the Pittsford and Perinton stores in the Rochester area, and the Dulles store in northern Virginia. Penfield and Holt Road stores are ready to go live on Tuesday, and 40 other stores are scheduled to join the service by year’s end. Others will join in 2020.
Customers download the Wegmans Meals 2GO app to be able to order. Eligible foods include sushi, subs, chicken wings, ready-to-heat meals, desserts, beverages and more. The app requires a minimum order of $20 of food.
“We promise to ‘make great meals easy,’ and it doesn’t get any easier than this,” said Erica Tickle, Wegmans e-commerce group manager. “What’s unique about Wegmans Meals 2GO is the variety of delicious menu options. During the yearlong pilot at our Pittsford store, we listened and learned, fine-tuned the app, and created a menu that had something for everyone at home or at work.”
Meal delivery is available from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day, within five miles of each participating store. The app can also be used to place an order without a minimum amount or without an extra fee for pickup at curbside or in the store.
DoorDash is already available for deliveries of meals from dozens of Rochester restaurants.
The latest grocery delivery service to arrive in Rochester serves Target.
Though Shipt has been delivering groceries and other goods from Target for several years, it only moved into Upstate New York earlier this month. Shipt started making Target deliveries in the Ithaca, Syracuse and Albany areas last week. Buffalo residents can use Shipt to get deliveries from both Target and Gordon Restaurant Market. Altogether, 1.2 million New Yorkers now have access to Shipt.
The new delivery service is membership based. If you pay $99 a year, deliveries are unlimited and free as long as the order comes to $35 or more. There’s a charge of $7 if the order is less than $35.
“Shipt is dedicated to making its members’ busy lives a little easier, and this launch brings the convenience of grocery delivery to communities across the upstate New York region. In the coming months Shipt will launch in additional metros throughout New York, giving delivery access to busy families throughout the state,” said Bill Smith, founder and chief executive officer, in a news release about the Rochester launch of Shipt.
Shipt was founded in 2014 in Birmingham, Ala. Target bought the company at the end of 2017.
Meanwhile, another app-based company, Instacart, is offering similar shopping-and-delivery services for Wegmans, Tops, PriceRite, Costco, CVS and Petco. InstaCart’s basic service charges for each order. That company also offers a $149-a-year membership for unlimited deliveries.
Wegmans’ spokeswoman, Jo Natale, said use of Instacart services by Wegmans customers is growing. It’s offered at the chain’s stores in all six states. In the Pittsford store, Instacart also offers a curbside option where the company does the shopping and the customer pulls up outside the store to receive the delivery.
Shipt hired about 150 independent contractors as shoppers before the program began locally July 10, but it expects to hire more as business ramps up. “We see a big pickup as word of mouth starts to get out,” said Kit Naramore, senior partner and success manager for Shipt. The company expects to hire a total of 570 independent contractors across the state.
“We’re really looking for people who are driven by customer service. Anyone who is going to go above and beyond,” said Naramore. The contractors can choose their hours, much as Uber drivers do.
These kinds of services, favored by brick-and-mortar stores to woo new shoppers with convenience, or to prevent losing old customers to one-click shopping on Amazon, are especially useful for shut-ins, people with mobility issues or people who lack transportation.
Naramore said an adult child with an elderly parent who isn’t tech savvy could set up an account themselves and direct deliveries to the parent as long as the parent lives in the service area of a Target store or other store partnering with Shipt. The owner of the account can also direct deliveries to themself at multiple locations, such as both home and office, or a vacation spot.
In fact, Shipt describes this scenario: using the Shipt app to deliver a cooler, bag of ice, snack and beach toys to wherever you are on vacation. Much of Target’s merchandise – groceries, school supplies, toys, electronics, furniture, pet food and accessories – is available for delivery this way, but apparel is not included yet.
Like many other stores, Target also offers the option to buy its clothing and other items online and have them waiting for pickup at the store.
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