Instacart adds DC to same day network

Residents of the Washington, D.C., metro area can now have products ordered from supermarket operator Harris Teeter delivered within the hour following Instacart’s entry into the market.

Instacart’s network of personal shoppers began delivering items ordered from Harris Teeter on Feb. 11. The service provider expects to add other retailers in the coming weeks which would allow shoppers to combine items from multiple stores in a single order and have them delivered in as little as one hour.

Washington, D.C., is Instacart’s fourth market following introduction of the service in San Francisco last year followed by expansion to Chicago and Boston. Like those markets, the nation’s capital has a concentration of tech-savvy urban dwellers, a large percentage of residents without cars and occasionally challenging weather conditions.

"The combination of tough weather conditions, residents working long hours without access to cars, and a desire to eat healthy made DC a perfect match for our convenient online grocery delivery service," said Instacart founder and CEO Apoorva Mehta. "We're really excited to bring Instacart to DC and give folks a healthy, easy way to get great food delivered right to their doorstep."

Instacart employs a crowdsourced approach to home delivery and is not affiliated with the retailers from whom it delivers products. Shoppers create an account and place their orders online which are then matched with personal shoppers who accept the job via their smartphone and pull products from store shelves to execute deliveries.

To generate trial usage, Instacart is offering DC customers free delivery on their first order of $35 or more. After that, the price for delivery within a two hour window is $3.99 with one hour delivery costing $14.99 on a minimum order size of $10.

The intriguing delivery concept drew the interest of venture capital last summer when it received $8.5 million in funding with the goal to expand to 10 markets nationwide by the end of this year.

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