New business in Anchorage serves to make shopping a piece of cake
Instacart, the nation's largest on-demand grocery delivery service, will serve Alaska for the first time May 31, in the Anchorage area. Alaska is the forty-seventh state in which Instacart operates.
"How it works is customers just log onto www.instacart.com-- or the mobile app-- and pick the storefront of their choice," Instacart area manager Nick Sturm said. "A contracted shopper will come to the store and be your personal shopper for the day."
Instacart is currently partnered with local stores including Carrs Quality Center and Costco. Petco will join in June.
"The launch of this new service is also bringing in more job opportunities to the area," Sturm said. "We have 100 shoppers ready to get to work on Thursday. The position is an Uber-like, independent contractor position that offers a flexible schedule."
From the website or app, customers enter their zip code and pick from a storefront in their given area. From there, customers will find themselves in a virtual shopping center. The entire catalog of what is available in the store is available online. Customers add what they want and pay online when they are finished with their order.
"At that point, the site or app submits the delivery order," Sturm said. "Orders can be placed for within an hour or as far out as seven days. Once that is done, a shopper in the area is alerted and that shopper goes to the store and starts the process. When they are done, the items are delivered to the person's home, business or wherever instructed."
Each order has a $5.99 delivery fee, which can vary, depending on how busy a store is. There is also a service fee based on how much the order is.
"The shoppers are going to be making different amounts, depending on the different complexities of groceries," Sturm said. "If we have a much larger basket size, a ton of items within that order, we want to make sure we are compensating that shopper correctly."
This business could save many people a lot of time and money. However, some people still enjoy the luxury of shopping and finding a good deal.
"I can see how it would be great for like my mother, who is 86, you know, she's having trouble getting to the store. It'd be a great thing for her," Carrs customer Jackie said. "For me, I want to make sure I'm getting the good deals. I also like to smell the fish."
Jennifer Lee, also shopping at Carrs on Abbott, agreed.
"It may work for some people, but I'd be worried about the produce," Lee said. "I wouldn't want to get produce that wasn't ripe or too ripe. Meat that is old or not the right cut."
Many customers like Don Bill still enjoy making the trip to the store.
"Yeah I like it," Bill said. "It's nice to see new things-- you don't know what is there if you're not here."
Customers also had concerns on sale prices, the use of coupons and their current Carrs and Costco membership codes, which also give discounts.
"We're looking into all of that," Sturm said. "The only real hiccup is working out the membership codes."
Sturm also says that first time users of Instacart receive a special promo code from the company. That code is: HIANCHORAGE
"Our goal is to expand," Sturm said. "We want to serve as many people as possible."
The service will begin on May 31 and the delivery area will cover more than 91,000 households in the Anchorage area.
Anyone interested in becoming a shopper and working for Instacart can apply here. shoppers.instacart.com
Questions or comments about this story? Email reporter Scott Gross.
Copyright 2018 KTVA. All rights reserved.
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