PEKIN

In-home grocery delivery company starts Thursday

By Sharon Woods Harris

Pekin Daily Times reporter

sharris@pekintimes.com

The days of listening to children freak out in the cereal aisle or listening to holiday jingles that send chills down the spine will be over for many area residents as of Thursday.

Instacart, a nationwide firm, will deliver grocery orders in as little as one hour from Schnucks, Binny’s, Petco, CVS and Costco. The company will deliver to Pekin, Peoria, Peoria Heights, West Peoria, East Peoria, Creve Coeur, Bartonville, Norwood and other areas in central Illinois. It will service close to 155,000 residents. More than 100 jobs have been created, according to David Osborne, Instacart general manager for the Midwest.

“We are really excited for this expansion into Peoria and Pekin, and this is a really good time-saving opportunity for folks who are just busy with other things — especially for parents with young kids, and it’s tough to get to the grocery store,” said Osborne. “This is a really great option for them. We’ve heard from a lot of customers that it really changes their everyday habits. 

“They don’t have to spend that time on grocery shopping. They can spend that time doing something else.”

Customers go online to Instacart.com and sign up. Each store has provided a complete list of the products and brands they carry with the price of each item in specific stores. Customers can order specific weights of produce. Alcohol can also be delivered. When an order is processed, a “shopper” is called to fill the order at whatever grocery store the customer chooses. Shoppers are contracted by the company.

The fee per delivery is $5.99 to $7.99 depending on delivery time; however, if a customer signs up for a membership before Aug. 13 the membership fee for the first year is waived and delivery is free. Memberships after that date are $14.99 a month or $149 a year. Memberships are optional.

All delivery personnel go through a criminal background check and a Department of Motor Vehicle check.

The shoppers deliver the groceries to the front door of the customer or will carry them inside if desired, said Osborne. The customer can choose a delivery time.

Schnucks Communications Specialist Paul Simon said the chain partners with Instacart in other markets, and it has been very successful. The company already successfully launched the service in St. Louis in February.

“It was the biggest first-day launch in Instacart’s history,” said Simon, “Two months later we expanded it to our markets in Rockford, Illinois, and in Evansville, Indiana, and now we are extending it to most of the rest of our trade area starting Thursday, which would include the Pekin/Peoria market.

“This is something ... our customers had told us they wanted. The partnership with Instacart is allowing us to deliver on that. I think it’s always a goal of ours to increase the number of customers we serve. We hope our current customers — this is something they want to try out. And we hope to attract some new customers. This is a great services for those who are maybe too busy, too much going on with the family to get to the store, a service for those who maybe can’t get around as well as they use to and for college students who maybe don’t have transportation to the closest store.”

Follow Sharon Woods Harris at Twitter.com/sharrispekin