As the grocery industry continues to fret over Amazon, Walmart-owned Sam’s Club is signing on with Instacart for same-day delivery services in Texas (Austin, Dallas) and St. Louis, Missouri. This is the first time Instacart has teamed up with Walmart.
Instacart already has partnerships with wholesale retailers BJs and Costco as well as traditional retail grocers Kroger, Publix, Albertsons, and Ahold Delhaize among others. The Sam’s Club announcement comes as several grocers are considering acquisitions to create a portfolio of products and services for digitally savvy customers. The trend sparked last summer after Amazon acquired Whole Foods. In September, Alberston’s bought up Plated, a meal kit company, to give customers flexible weeknight meal prep options. In December, Target bought delivery platform Shipt for more efficient home delivery. This year, several companies have considered an acquisition of online wholesale retailer Boxed, which delivers bulk goods to a customer’s doorstep. Wholesale retailers have not been as much a part of the discussion around grocery retail disruption, though they too have been impacted by the rise of e-commerce—and Amazon.
Instacart largely seems to be benefiting from Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods, even though Whole Foods was one of its early partners. Since June, Instacart has rapidly amassed contracts with a long list of grocers. Last month, Instacart raised $200 million in funding.