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Need groceries? Instacart expanding deliveries in South Sound

A close-up look at Instacart, an online grocery delivery service

How Instacart works from the perspectives of "shopper'' and customer. The company plans to expand its delivery zone to Olympia on Oct. 3.
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How Instacart works from the perspectives of "shopper'' and customer. The company plans to expand its delivery zone to Olympia on Oct. 3.

Instacart is set to expand its grocery-delivery service in the South Sound and around Seattle.

Sean Twersky, the company’s senior regional director, said it plans to begin grocery deliveries Oct. 3 in Olympia. Participating grocers in the Olympia area will include Fred Meyer, CVS, Petco, Costco, Safeway and Albertsons.

Hiring has been ongoing and will continue for the latest delivery expansion, which includes Everett and Sammamish. Go to shoppers.instacart.com to apply.

In Pierce County and Tacoma, “The service is going really well,” Twersky said Tuesday in a phone interview with The News Tribune. “We’re getting into the hundreds for deliveries each week.”

The service’s introduction to Pierce County in July has helped Instacart grow its Seattle market, Twersky said

“Seattle has grown each of the last four weeks bigger than previously, and in Bellevue,” he said.

His message for grocers not thinking about offering deliveries: “E-commerce is coming to grocery so you can’t say, ‘Nah, this isn’t happening.’ 

Which brings to mind Walmart’s test of deliveries where drivers go inside homes to drop off or unpack groceries.

“I have no doubt there is segment of population that would love that,” Twersky replied when asked what he thought about Walmart’s test.

“As long as those people are vetted and background-checked and you know, wipe their feet and all that, I think it’s a very reasonable test,” he said.

Does he see Instacart joining in that mode of delivery?

“In one year’s time, do I think that’s going to happen? No,” he said. “Five years’ time? Maybe. But I’ve been proven wrong before.”

Twersky also wants to reach out to independent grocers, not just chains.

“We can get you online in a matter of days,” he said. “The more options we have, the better.”

And for customers, if you want Instacart in your area, Twersky says, tell his company.

“The best thing to do is request us at the website (instacart.com),” he said. “When we see a lot of interest from an area, it gives us that level of comfort to be able to do it.”

Debbie Cockrell: 253-597-8364, @Debbie_Cockrell

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