Rite Aid partners with Instacart to deliver healthcare, grocery essentials

Dive Brief:

  • Rite Aid on Wednesday announced a partnership with Instacart to allow customers to have essential healthcare and grocery items delivered to their homes during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. 

  • Instacart delivery is now available at more than 2,400 Rite Aid stores in 18 states. Customers can access the full selection of grocery and healthcare items available for delivery from their local store online, excluding prescription medications, according to the company statement. Instacart orders will default to “leave at my door delivery” to maintain social distancing measures. 

  • The drugstore retailer also offers separate delivery, curbside pick-up and drive-thru options for customers’ prescriptions, per the company statement. 

Dive Insight:

The announcement comes after Rite Aid mentioned expanding its pilot program with Instacart during last month’s earnings call. The drug store chain joins Costco in partnering with Instacart for deliveries, though Costco’s offering allows for prescriptions to be combined with larger shopping orders and delivered through the startup. In recent months, Instacart has added personal shoppers and updated its app to meet increased demand during the coronavirus pandemic. 

As Rite Aid enlists the help of Instacart to deliver essentials to customers, it looks like Instacart has caught up with the wave of consumers turning to the service. The company’s impact on the grocery industry also appears to be driving job creation and revenue growth, a report Instacart commissioned from independent firm NERA Economic Consulting found. 

The drug store chain recently introduced an updated app and website, but Rite Aid isn’t the only retailer looking to update its digital and delivery offerings. Among others, 7-Eleven introduced contactless delivery last month and recently teamed up with Postmates, DoorDash and Favor Delivery to offer expanded delivery services. 

While Instacart has always catered to grocery stores, other delivery apps that previously served restaurants are now pivoting to grocery stores as food delivery app downloads have declined. Uber, for example, recently introduced Uber Direct, an extension of its existing takeout service into grocery and convenience store delivery.