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Business/Economy

Grocery delivery service Instacart is about to launch in Anchorage

  • Author: Annie Zak
  • Updated: May 28
  • Published May 28

Another player in the on-demand economy is making its Alaska debut.

Instacart, a San Francisco-based company that has personal shoppers get your groceries and deliver them to your door, will launch in Anchorage on May 31 at Carrs and Costco stores. In June, it will also launch at Petco.

Customers can use an app or the company's website to shop online. Then, people who shop for the service go get what's on your list and bring it to you "typically within a two-hour delivery window," said Nick Sturm, a manager for the company's Northwest operations.

Each order has a $5.99 delivery fee, which can vary depending on how busy a store is, Sturm said. There's also a service fee based on how much the order is.

Depending on the retailer, items purchased through Instacart also may be marked up from what they'd cost if you bought them in-store, in which case the app or website tells the user that "prices may vary," Sturm said.

Even at Costco, there's no limit on the size of the order, Sturm said.

There will be about 100 shoppers operating on the platform as it launches here, Sturm said. Those aren't employees but independent contractors, like the model used by ride-hailing company Uber and others.

How much money those contractors make is a payment rate based on each order. Shoppers also keep all the tips they make through the platform.

Asked if the service plans to operate in Alaska beyond Anchorage, Sturm said no immediate expansion plans have been announced.

"I think the goal is to continue to expand," he said. "We want to grow and serve as many people as possible."

Instacart is the latest in a host of services catering to consumer convenience that have recently arrived in Alaska. Uber and Lyft started operating here last summer. More retailers have also started offering services where you can shop online and go pick up your order without going into the store.

With the addition of Alaska, Instacart will operate in 47 states. The company, which was founded in 2012, also operates in Canada.

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