retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Charlotte Observer reports that online retailer/delivery service Instacart is launching this week in that North Carolina market, allowing customers to "order from Harris Teeter, Food Lion, Publix, Whole Foods, Costco and BJ’s Wholesale Club. The company claims deliveries 'in as little as one hour' (your fee varies based on the time frame you pick.)"


• At the same time, the Charlotte Business Observer reports that Walmart is expanding its grocery click-and-collect service to two more Charlotte-area stores, after a successful test at five units.

The Street reports that "online grocery appears to have been successful for Walmart, which continues to report weak store sales as more people shop online and move back to urban areas. About 90% of online grocery users are repeat customers, and more than 90% of the orders include fresh grocery items such as dairy, produce and meat ... The chain's research shows diapers and baby products are top-sellers among Millennial moms using the service. The reason? They are able to get out of the house with the baby, pop their trunk, and have their diapers and other groceries loaded without unbuckling any car seats or seat belts."


• Massachusetts-based Roche Bros. announced that it is developing a new online strategy that "will facilitate home delivery in eastern and central Massachusetts, and curbside pickup at a growing number of store locations."
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