Business

Publix sub anyone? BOGO? Instacart now delivers from Publix in Miami area

MIAMI HERALD STAFF

You can now get that Publix sub delivered. How about a BOGO at your door?

Beginning July 12, the Publix grocery chain will begin piloting a service with Instacart in select areas of Miami. Instacart is an e-commerce and delivery service that allows customers to place grocery orders online and have their items delivered to their homes or offices.

Instacart will fulfill and deliver customers’ orders in 37 ZIP codes from Hallandale Beach to South Miami. Yes, Publix’s popular buy-one-get-one (BOGO) promotions are included. Customers can enter their ZIP code on the Instacart website to find out if the service is available where they live and place orders at www.instacart.com/publix.

“We know this service is something our customers are interested in, and we’re excited to learn more as we move forward with this pilot,” said Kevin Murphy, senior vice president of retail operations for Publix. “We chose Instacart because we believe the experience they provide aligns well with the needs of our company, associates and customers.”

Publix will start with a pilot and evaluate results before expanding the program.

Nilam Ganenthiran, Instacart’s senior vice president of business development, said Instacart has had Publix on its short list of potential partners from the beginning. “Publix stroes are fantastic and they are known industry wide for high quality of service and great merchandise. ... We are starting in Miami and hopefully there will be a lot more to come.”

Items excluded from purchase at Publix through Instacart are alcohol, tobacco, gift cards, prescriptions and age-restricted items. Printed and digital coupons are not redeemable through Instacart at this time. All orders must be at least $10. Deliveries cost $5.99 for a delivery with two hours of lead time.

The fast-growing San Francisco-based Instacart has been partnering with Whole Foods, Winn-Dixie, Costco and other retailers to make deliveries in South Florida for about a year. Its business model involves partnering with the grocers; prices are typically the same as in the store, and will be noted if that is not the case. Instacart is now in 23 major metro areas, although Miami is the only Florida location so far. This year it has launched in Raleigh, N.C., Baltimore, Orange County and other locations.

“Miami is one of our fastest-growing markets nationwide,” said Ganenthiran. “The Southeast in particular has been very receptive to our service and we think our offering can grow a lot in Florida and elsewhere” in the region.

Publix itself has experimented with offering its own online delivery service in the past without success. Birmingham, Ala.-based Shipt, another online grocery service, delivers from Publix in South Florida and other areas but is not a partner of the Lakeland-based grocer.

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