Target taps Instacart for same-day delivery trial

For now the service is only being tested in select neighborhoods in Target's hometown of Minneapolis, but the retailer notes that it's already looking to expand into other markets.

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Target said Tuesday that it plans to start testing an on-demand grocery delivery service in partnership with Instacart.

The service runs through the Instacart app or the Instacart website. It would allow shoppers to order Target items ranging from groceries and baby supplies to pet food and dish soap, and then have the items delivered to their door the same day.

For now the service is only being tested in select neighborhoods in Target's hometown of Minneapolis, but the retailer notes that it's already looking to expand into other markets.

Instacart used Target's same-day delivery news to also announced that it is expanding its services to Minneapolis, with notches its city count up to 18 metro areas. Instacart founder and CEO Apoorva Mehta said the region was on the company's radar before the Target partnership.

"We received a lot of interest for our service from the community-both to use and partner with Instacart," said Mehta, in a statement. "Those factors lead to an ideal market for Instacart delivery, and we look forward to servicing Minneapolis with the great mix of stores we have signed on as retail partners."

In addition to partnering with Target, Instacart will make deliveries for Whole Foods and Cub Foods. Delivery is free for the first Instacart order, but after that deliveries will costs $3.99 for a two-hour delivery window on orders of $35 or more.

Target's move into same-day delivery is not a surprise. A slew of brick-and-mortar retailers have already begun to fine-tune some type of same-day delivery system, and of course Amazon was the first major retailer to blaze the trail.

Target's not necessarily behind, either. Since CEO Brian Cornell took the helm, Target has doubled down on its omnichannel efforts. In August Target began testing beacons at 50 store locations nationwide. The retailer is also offering store pickup for online orders and has expanded its ship-from-store program to shorten delivery times.

As for Instacart, the three-year-old, venture backed startup is living proof that interest in same-day delivery is rapidly increasing. Instacart is valued at $2 billion, with backers that include Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, Sequoia Capital and Andreessen Horowitz, to name a few.

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