Retail

Instacart, Sur La Table Partnership Delivers

Ever been in the middle of cooking dinner, only to realize you don’t have the right tool for the job? You bought the bay leaves, but no herb mill? The garlic, but no press? There’s an app for that.

A new partnership between Instacart and Sur La Table can save the day for stumped chefs with the delivery of culinary equipment – from gadgets and tools to tableware – directly to the customer within just a couple of hours. Or, shoppers at physical stores can have Instacart deliver their bulky purchases later the same day, which comes in handy for city dwellers who may be traveling by public transit.

Sur La Table operates more than 100 brick-and-mortar stores, a website, and a catalog. It already offered merchandise delivery. But the enterprise had room to grow even more modern and to serve its customers even better.

Instacart is a third-party grocery delivery service that employs a team of personal shoppers to hand-pick groceries from local stores and deliver them. This is Instacart’s first partnership with a non-grocery store, but executives were confident the arrangement could kill two birds with one stone.

“First, we now offer a logistics solution. It is not uncommon for customers to be in the middle of preparing a meal and realize they are missing an ingredient, tool, roasting pan, or cooking gadget,” said Ben Rosenfeld, the retailer’s senior VP of stores. “Rather than leaving the house for an item, they can get what they need the same day — even in two hours in some markets.”

Second, “Rather than carry bulky items on a bus, train or Uber, people in participating markets can now go home, order it online, and get it quickly,” said Rosenfeld. “It is a way to ensure we don’t lose that face-to-face connection with our customer, and still create instant gratification during the last mile of delivery.”

For $14.99 per month, Instacart Express members can take advantage of the new Sur La Table service in San Francisco, Portland, and Chicago, with more than 70 percent of stores in other markets to be covered by June.

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