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Instacart has launched Austin’s first one-hour grocery delivery service. Beginning today, customers can order virtually any items carried in their neighborhood Royal Blue Grocery and H-E-B stores and have them delivered in as little as one hour, according to the company.
Additional stores will be added in the coming weeks, and customers can combine items from multiple stores into one order. “Customers have been asking about delivery, and we considered starting our own delivery service, but were concerned about the cost and logistical considerations,” said Craig Staley, general manager of Royal Blue Grocery. “Then we heard that Instacart was coming to town. We saw that partnering with them would be the best way for us to provide delivery service to our customers, and expand our reach in Austin.”
Originally launched in San Francisco and since expanded into other major cities, Instacart uses a crowdsourced labor force dubbed "Personal Shoppers" who shop for and deliver grocery orders providing their own transportation.
Austin is Instacart’s 10th city, said company founder Apoorva Mehta. “Austin is the fastest-growing city in the U.S., with a young, tech-savvy culture and a major university downtown,” said Mehta. “Those are all factors that we look for in an expansion city. We think Austinites will really appreciate the convenience factor of Instacart, and we’re working hard to establish relationships not just with the big chains, but also the local merchants such as Royal Blue Grocery who add so much to the local Austin community.”
To celebrate its Austin launch, Instacart has planned an event unique to Austin – select customers downtown will be treated to grocery delivery on horseback on May 14 via a partnership with local Austin stable Texas Trail Rides. The news about the deliveries can be followed on launch day with the Twitter hashtag #Instahorse.
Instacart’s initial coverage area includes the following neighborhoods: Downtown, South Congress, University of Texas, West Lake, Barton Creek, Clarksville, Hyde Park, North Lamar, Travis Heights, Tarrytown, East Riverside, East Downtown, South Lamar, Balcones Hills and Rosedale. A full map of coverage is available on Instacart’s website.