Instacart grocery service launches in Fresno

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A new grocery shopping service launched in Fresno Tuesday, and it allows customers to shop without ever setting foot into a store.

Fresno is now the latest in 100 cities that's home to Instacart. The grocery shopping service and app debuted in Fresno on Tuesday.

The company's senior regional manager says consumers in the Central Valley proactively asked for this special kind of service.

"The other thing that we look at is where we already have retailers or grocery stores that we are partnered or work well with or where they have Smart and Final, Costco, Petco and a couple others up in Fresno," Sean Twersky said. "So it made it a really nice fit for us."

CVS Pharmacy and Vons are among the other stores available in the Fresno area. Instacart will deliver groceries and other consumer goods selected by you, and your purchase will be delivered to your door within one hour or whenever you want for a fee.

"There is a $5.99 delivery fee and then an optional tip on top of that," Twersky explained. "And if you are someone who really likes it, and you think you are going to use it a lot. You can get an Instacart express subscription that's $149 for a year and that $5.99 goes away."

One Smart and Final customer who shops at the grocery chain for work says the app would save him time.

"It would keep me from running here every week," Alex Scisneros said. "I come here about four times a week. So it would be a lot better."

We tried out the app and ordered a few items from a nearby Smart and Final in Downtown Fresno. The app gives the shopper pictures on what to purchase for the customer.

Despite a few hiccups with our order, our Instacart shopper contacted us to let us know one of the items we selected was not available.

Our purchase was delivered within 40 minutes. The Instacart shopper we spoke to says they select where they want to pick up and drop off based on what is convenient for them.

"Once you are in your zone then that's when they are able to send you an order," shopper Chantha Phoeun said. "And when they send you an order usually the customer is in that zone. So it is easier for us to deliver."

Shoppers are paid through commission. They use their own cars and must have cooler bags to transport items like meat and dairy products.
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