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New-to-Philadelphia Grocery Delivery Service Now Offering Booze

Photo Credit Thinkstock

Photo Credit Thinkstock

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By Chelsea Karnash

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Stock your liquor cabinet and your fridge, all at once and without ever leaving the house.

Instacart, a grocery delivery service that launched in Philadelphia back in February, is now offering booze along with bread, butter and produce.

George Shotz, one of two operations managers for Philly, says the new venture is already getting lots of attention from locals pressed for time and in need of both sustenance and spirits.

He also says Instacart didn’t have to jump through any hoops with the PLCB – the company used the regular application process and was approved. The Fine Wine & Good Spirits Store opened for business Tuesday.

The service, which can also be accessed through an app, is available throughout Philadelphia and parts of the suburbs. It recently expanded to parts of the Main Line due to high demand.

Products can be delivered all at once from multiple stores. In Philadelphia, those stores are currently Whole Foods, Super Fresh, Fine Wine & Good Spirits and BJ’s.

“And you don’t need a membership,” for that last one, Shotz adds.

That’s because Instacart doesn’t run out of a distribution center. In fact, it has no formal agreements with the stores and no trucks. Instead, the company hires “personal shoppers” who use their own vehicles and are paid on commission.

Shotz says the business started last year in San Francisco before expanding to Chicago. Philadelphia is now the fifth city Instacart covers.

Delivery prices for using Instacart start around $3.99 and you can expect your goods to arrive within a few hours. To sign up, users simply visit the website, enter their zip code and create an account using an email address or social media.

One potential downfall? Instacart does note in its FAQ section that its online prices may differ from store prices. How much and why isn’t clear, but a quick search of Whole Foods’ company-run online ordering system showed a half-gallon of Horizon Organic Valley 2% milk at $4.99. The same milk was actually 20 cents cheaper on Instacart, priced at $4.79.

Of course for many, it’s about the convenience of getting everything from produce and pet food to wine and margarita mix delivered in one batch — without ever having to battle it out for aisle space at the store.

For more on Instacart, visit: www.instacart.com

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