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Don’t want to leave the house to get groceries? There’s a new service coming to Whatcom

Instacart will start offering its grocery delivery service in the Bellingham area on Nov. 29. Residents will be able to place orders from a variety of stores and have it delivered in as little as an hour.
Instacart will start offering its grocery delivery service in the Bellingham area on Nov. 29. Residents will be able to place orders from a variety of stores and have it delivered in as little as an hour. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

If all this rain is making you dread going to the grocery store, there’s a new service ready to help you out.

Retail delivery service Instacart announced it is starting up its grocery delivery in much of western Whatcom County starting Wednesday.

Residents can go to the website or use the mobile app to put in an order and a delivery window ranging from an hour to seven days. An Instacart Shopper will then pick up the groceries and deliver them within the requested time.

When placing an order, customers can choose from a variety of stores, including Cash & Carry, Costco, Petco, Safeway and Fred Meyer, according to a news release.

Instacart also recently announced a partnership with Albertsons that will expand choices for its customers. At the moment the company does not offer delivery from Haggen, which is owned by Albertsons, said Andrea Toch, a spokeswoman for the company.

Along with Bellingham and Sudden Valley, the delivery area list includes Alger, Lummi Nation, Ferndale, Lynden, Everson, Deming, Nugents Corner, Chuckanut and Agate Bay. The service area is determined by zip codes and in this area Instacart will use 98225, 98226, 98229, 98247, 98248 and 98264.

The company chose the Bellingham area partly because of the demand for such a service in the past year, said Sean Twersky, senior regional director. The company is already in 38 Washington state cities, including Everett and Seattle.

Instacart Shoppers are independent contractors who enjoy the flexibility the role offers as a income opportunity, Toch said. She said Instacart plans on hiring more than 100 of these shoppers in this area.

“They each are their own boss and set their own hours,” Toch said, adding that many of them typically work for other on-demand companies.

The delivery comes with different service fee levels. For orders $35 or more, the delivery fee is $5.99. Customers can also enroll in an Instacart Express membership, which offers a free same-day delivery on orders of $35 or more during a free trial period. After the free trial, the membership is $14.99 a month or $149 a year. First time users can also enter the code HIBELLINGHAM at checkout to get $20 off an order of $35 or more, plus free first-time delivery.

The prices on the groceries ordered may also be different than what is offered in the store. According to its website, Instacart works with retailers to offer the same prices as found in the physical store, but in some cases delivery prices may be higher. Instacart also doesn’t offer in-store discounts. When there is a mark-up, it is done to partially cover the cost of delivery, according to the company. Instacart does not add a mark-up to the price of alcohol items.

Dave Gallagher: 360-715-2269, @BhamHeraldBiz

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