Instacart, an on-demand grocery shopping app, has launched in Philadelphia.
Headquartered in San Francisco, the app is kind of like a Sidecar for grocery shopping. Users use the app to choose groceries and a contract-based “personal shopper” picks up the job and delivers the groceries with their own vehicles.
Aside from San Francisco, Instacart is already in Washington, D.C., Chicago and Boston, according to a release.
The company is currently looking for an office in Southwest Center City (possibly tech hub 2401 Walnut Street and its CityCoHo incubator?) where two to four full-time employees will work, according to a spokeswman. Currently, the launch team is working out of Old City coworking space Indy Hall.
Here’s a map of Instacart’s service area. It’ll expand in the coming months, according to a release.
Why Philly? Here are four reasons, as provided by Instacart through a spokeswoman:
- Demographics: young, growing population with a vibrant downtown
- Size. Philly is the second largest city on the East Coast
- Weather. “Instacart has found in other cities that order volume grows when it rains or snows, so they like cities where it rains/snows a lot,” the spokeswoman wrote in an email.
- Some downtown neighborhoods don’t have good proximity to grocery stores (Think Center City’s Trader Joe’s becoming a claustrophobic’s nightmare every evening)
The Philly region also has online grocers like FreshDirect and Peapod. Unlike Instacart, those businesses use warehouses, full-time drivers and trucks.
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