Yet another grocery/food delivery service has made its way to the Atlanta metro area.
Shipt is an on-demand grocery delivery service which launches Thursday, Sept. 17 in Atlanta. The service will deliver groceries from Publix stores in the greater Atlanta metro area, including downtown, Buckhead and the majority of the northern metro area including Alpharetta, Marietta and Roswell.
Though the service sources groceries from Publix, it is not affiliated with or endorsed by the grocery store.
Shipt works much like Instacart, another player in the grocery delivery service which recently partnered with Target to pilot a grocery delivery program for the big-box retailer (this is only in Minneapolis for now.)
Customers select from a range of items available at local Publix stores using Shipt’s mobile app. The app lets you choose specific items and include any notes you have about preferences or substitutions. Orders can include produce, meat and perishable items(but not cigarettes or alcohol) and there is no limit to the number of items delivered. Shoppers for Shipt receive training on how to pick quality produce and they are directed to communicate with customers to make sure orders are completed accurately, say company representatives.
Users can request delivery within an hour after placing the order, depending on shopper availability. If you purchase a membership, you get unlimited grocery deliveries for an annual fee of $99 or a monthly fee of $14. If you join today, you can get the pre-launch price of $49 for a one-year membership.
All members receive free delivery for orders over $35. There is a $7 delivery fee for orders under $35 even if you are a member. Shipt prices vary from grocery store prices by an average of approximately $5 on a $35 order which basically means you pay $35 for $30 worth of food. Of course, these convenience services are not about saving money, it’s more about saving time so you have to decide if it’s worth it for you.
Interestingly, this isn’t Publix’ first rodeo with online grocery shopping. Publix Direct, which offered home delivery to customers in South Florida was shut down in 2003 because it didn’t have the volume to sustain itself. In 2010, Publix Curbside came to the Publix in Toco Hills. You shopped online, paid $8 and could pick up your groceries in a 30 minute window. I tried the service and liked the convenience, but I had issues with the produce in my order (wilted lettuce, bruised apples.) That service didn’t last either. So we will see if Shipt can offer the special touch needed to make Publix grocery delivery work.