PCC Natural Markets is teaming with Instacart to get in on the curbside-pickup game that appears to be the next trend in how busy shoppers get their groceries. The community-owned chain of markets is the latest retailer to beat tech giant Amazon to the speedy-style of grocery pickup.
PCC, with 11 Seattle-area stores, began testing the “Click & Collect” service this week at its newest store in Bothell, Wa. Shoppers can use the service online by visiting Instacart’s PCC storefront. After users click on all their produce, dairy, deli items and more, PCC staff pick and pack the order.
Shoppers then drive to the store and park in a designated space and call or text to have the groceries brought out. The service is exclusive right now for residents living in select zip codes in Bothell, Duvall, Everett, Kenmore, Maltby, Mukilteo and Woodinville.
“Our co-op was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, so we naturally embrace a ‘test and learn,’ pioneering philosophy,” Cate Hardy, PCC Natural Markets CEO, said in a news release. “The best way to learn is to do, so when Instacart offered to help us explore curbside pickup, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to enhance service for our members and shoppers while simultaneously getting smarter about fulfilling online orders in our stores.”
PCC, which was founded in 1953, first teamed with Instacart for online shopping and delivery in 2015. It added the option of Amazon PrimeNow delivery in spring 2016.
Fred Meyer began offering online shopping and curbside pickup at select Seattle-area stores through its ClickList service late last year. The service was started by Fred Meyer parent Kroger in 2014. One location, in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood, is just blocks from what will soon be a new Amazon drive-up grocery store.
Business Insider reported last fall on documents revealing Amazon’s plans for brick-and-mortar grocery stores. Amazon-Fresh branded stores are expected at 20 pilot locations, with some of them being drive-up collection spots for online orders. The retailer reportedly believes the U.S. market can accommodate 2,000 stores over the next decade.