How Grocery Stores Compete with Amazon/Whole Foods


Earlier this year I wrote about my experience with online grocery shopping, using Instacart. I could order groceries online from my local store, and the order was filled and delivered by employees of Instacart. The fees are reasonable, especially when I consider the time I would have spent in the store. Also, the employees I’ve spoken with are people people who want part-time work such as moms and students.

How Grocery Stores Compete with Amazon/Whole FoodsWhen Amazon purchased Whole Foods and entered into the home delivery business, grocery chains across the country turned to Instacart.

The San Francisco-based delivery service has long positioned itself as the “de facto ally of American grocers against Amazon” as Alison Griswold wrote for Quartz. By hiring shoppers to pick out and deliver orders from existing supermarkets, the $3.4-billion startup founded in 2012 gives on-demand service to decidedly low-tech grocers.

That was a much tougher sell before Whole Foods was bought, says Instacart CEO Apoorva Mehta. “The day of the Amazon announcement, my phone was ringing of the hook,” he tells Quartz. Instead of pilots and multi-year roll-outs, Mehta says retailers were calling to launch immediately in as many stores as possible. Everyone in the space needs a delivery solution,” he says.

The “Amazon Effect” is accelerating the move to online shopping across retail. It will likely claim many victims that fail to compete. But among the beneficiaries are grocery-delivery startups like Instacart and Shipt, which Target has agreed to purchase for $550 million. (Source)

I strongly believe in local businesses. For example, our grocery store makes an effort to source products from local producers. If you are ordering from a big retailer like Amazon, that is less likely to happen.

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CrystalSongPodLindaPucksterguy Recent comment authors
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I grew up in a family grocery business. I know it inside out. We had a huge customer base set up because customers could walk in and we'd deliver their food. As a compliment to that customers could just phone in their orders and for a fee we would pick their orders and deliver them. Customers included local restaurants , school and daycares. As well as busy housewives. It made our business recession proof. I can see how that can work.


I did a lot of the deliveries so I knew all the customers personally. If they wanted a new product I'd make sure we got it. A lot of friendly banter. It was a fun job talking to people.


Very interesting Linda. I know Tesco does a home delivery services, and I think one can get organic veggies delivered to the door but as we are, a much smaller country, people like to shop in person I think. Though one can even buy meals that you only need to cook.


My first thought was Whole Foods carries a lot of GMO and non-organic foods. Where I live this store is frowned upon for acting like its a 'Whole and Healthy food' store but not being one in actuality and in some places its a close as some folks can get to a natural grocer.