Wegmans will soon give Buffalo Niagara customers a chance to bypass the parking lot, aisles and checkout lane – for an additional cost.
Starting Aug. 1, Wegmans will bring its same-day delivery service to the Buffalo market.
The service – a partnership between grocery delivery app Instacart and the Rochester-based grocery chain – allows Wegmans customers to complete their grocery shopping online and have their orders delivered to their doors. Under the system, a customer places the order and "shoppers" working for Instacart gather the items for delivery.
The decision to expand its delivery service comes as a growing number of grocery stores move to cater to online shopping. Locally, Dash's Markets began offering delivery and pickup services in 2015. Tops has previously said it is also developing a delivery service for its corporate stores.
The grocery industry was shaken last month after Amazon agreed to buy Whole Foods in a deal widely seen as having the potential to further disrupt the way people shop.
Starting next month, Wegmans customers can enter their ZIP code at instacart.wegmans.com to determine if they are within Wegmans' delivery area. Nearly any ZIP code within a 20- to 30-minute drive of a Wegmans store where groceries are ordered will be eligible for the service, said Michele Mehaffy, a Wegmans spokeswoman. Lockport, for instance, is not currently among the places where the service is available, but that could still change, she said.
Getting your groceries delivered will cost more than going to the store.
Instacart waives the delivery fee on new customers’ first orders. After that, delivery starts at $5.99 on orders of $35 or more.
An Instacart Express membership is also available, enabling unlimited free one-hour deliveries on orders over $35 for an annual fee that varies from $99 to $149, depending on location.
Wegmans also adds a price increase to items to cover the cost of collecting customer orders.
“We know our customers are busy, and that any found time in their week can make a difference. That’s where we can help – by giving them the option to have Wegmans delivered fresh to their door,” said Heather Pawlowski, vice president of e-commerce for Wegmans, in a statement.
At check out, customers can add their Wegmans Shoppers Club number to receive available discounts, and choose a delivery window within one hour, two hours, or up to seven days in advance.
Wegmans also is expanding the service to the Rochester-area stores Aug. 8 and Syracuse-area stores on Aug. 15.
In 2015, Dash's Market began a program that allows customers to select and pay for items online or through a smartphone app, then either pick them up at the store or have them delivered to their doorstep for a fee.
Walmart in May also launched a service that allows customers to select groceries online and pick them up curbside at two Niagara County locations.
Wegmans piloted a personal shopper program at its Pittsford store in 2014, then began offering the service at six stores in Pittsford and New Jersey. More recently, Wegmans began offering grocery delivery in North Virginia and Maryland, with southern New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Boston as its next target markets.