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DoorDash, the delivery service that largely has focused on he restaurant business, with more recent forays into partnering with drug stores and convenience stores, now is making a major play in the supermarket sector.

CNet reports that DoorDash is "partnering with Meijer and Fresh Thyme to deliver to customers in Chicago, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Detroit and Indianapolis. It's also working with Smart & Final in California to deliver groceries in Sacramento, the San Francisco Bay Area, the Central Coast, Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego.

"DoorDash said that more than 10,000 items will be available for delivery from participating grocery stores in under an hour, which means there's no scheduling or waiting required.  The company will add more options across the country in the coming weeks through grocery stores like Hy-Vee."

CNN quotes Mike Goldblatt, DoorDash's head of grocery and convenience partnerships, as saying, "Grocery stores on DoorDash will be available on an on-demand basis … That means no scheduling required, no queues, no waiting."

CNN writes that "there is a $3.99 delivery fee for each grocery order, unless users are part of DoorDash's subscription service, DashPass, which costs $9.99 per month and includes grocery."

The move positions DoorDash as a stronger competitor against Instacart, which has delivery relationships with more than 400 retailers in North America, and recently announced a partnership with Walmart in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Tulsa for same-day delivery.

And, of course, both companies are engaging retailers by promising to make them more competitive with Amazon.

KC's View:

Clearly this is an initiative that has been in the works for some time, but I have to wonder if any of these companies now using DoorDash as an e-commerce solution were given pause less than three weeks ago when it announced the launch of DashMart, which it described as "a new type of convenience store, offering both household essentials and local restaurant favorites to our customers’ doorsteps," often in 30 minutes.

In other words - and let's be absolutely clear about this - DoorDash no longer is just a service provider to the c-store business.  It is a convenience store, no doubt with ambitions to expand geographically from the eight cities it now is serving to a much broader footprint, and no doubt with ambitions to expand beyond a convenience selection to a broader grocery offering.

DoorDash is opening its own dark stores to compete against its clients.  It actually is saying out loud the stuff that Instacart has avoided saying about its own plans.

What the hell are these retailers thinking as they jump into bed with a partner that would be perfectly happy to steal their customers and their very souls?  These delivery companies, with their hidden and not-so-hidden ambitions, are like the mythical Nidhogg, eating corpses to sustain itself…