Bi-Lo Expands Grocery Services via Instacart

Customers gain more access to same-day food deliveries
Bi-Lo and other food retailers continue to expand grocery delivery options.

Bi-Lo has become the latest food retail chain to expand its grocery delivery services during the pandemic, via Instacart.

The grocery provider, a subsidiary of Southeastern Grocers Inc. (SEG), “is partnering with Instacart to offer same-day delivery to customers in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia,” according to a recent report from the Charlotte Observernewspaper. “All orders default to ‘Leave at My Door Delivery’ to ensure social distancing.”

This partnership stands as the latest example of Instacart's grocery delivery expansion stemming from increased demand during the COVID-19 outbreak as consumers stay at home in response to official mandates and personal concerns about health risks.

Earlier in May, for instance, Woonsocket, R.I.-based Rite Aidsaid that consumers can make orders via the Rite Aid or Instacart online ordering channels, and then have those products delivered to their homes. The service is available form 2,400 Rite Aid stores in 18 states.

Besides Rite Aid, other food retailers have expanded their own delivery programs, with or without Instacart. A recent example comes from Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix Super Markets. That grocery store chain already offers shoppers e-commerce delivery and curbside pickup options through Instacart, but a new partnership with Columbus, Ohio-based ScriptDrop will give customers the option of prescription home delivery within a 5-mile radius of each in-store Publix Pharmacy. 

About a month ago, research revealed that the pandemic has significantly boosted the online and mobile profile of grocery delivery services. Those services achieved a more than 28,000% increase in social media engagement over a two-month time frame (March-May 1) from the previous two months, according to a report from international social media analytics firm Talkwalker. The five major brands had 7 million engagements in that time period, versus 25,000 engagements between Jan. 1 and Feb. 29.

Jacksonville, Fla.-based SEG, and its subsidiaries Bi-Lo LLC and Winn-Dixie Stores Inc., are privately held companies that own and operate regional grocery store chains Bi-Lo, Winn-Dixie Stores, Fresco y Más, and Harveys Supermarket in the southeastern United States, with 550 stores in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina. The company is No. 13 on Progressive Grocer’s 2020 PG 100 list of the top food retailers in North America.

Operating more than 2,400 retail pharmacy locations across 18 states, Rite Aid is No. 18  on The PG 100, while Publix, with 1,242 stores in seven southeastern states, is No. 12 on the list.

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