DoorDash is announcing that customers can now order groceries through the DoorDash app from partners including Smart & Final, Meijer and Fresh Thyme. Additional stores like Hy-Vee and Gristedes/D’Agnostino are supposed to be added in the next few weeks.
Through these partnerships, DoorDash says it has a delivery footprint covering 75 million Americans in markets like the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Orange County, Sacramento, San Diego, Chicago, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Detroit and Indianapolis.
DoorDash began delivering from a wide range of convenience stores earlier this year. Fuad Hannon, the company’s head of new verticals, also noted that a number of grocery stores are already part of the DoorDash Drive program, a white-label service where DoorDash handles last-mile delivery.
So Hannon said introducing grocery delivery into the DoorDash app itself is a “natural extension” of those efforts. And in contrast to many other grocery services, the company promises to deliver within an hour of your order.
“There’s no scheduling, no delivery slots, no day-long waits,” he said.
To achieve this, Hannon said DoorDash has created “deep partnerships and commercial relationships” with the grocery stores, coordinating on things like inventory management. “Embedded shoppers” hired from a staffing agency handle the shopping in each store, and the groceries are then delivered by DoorDash’s Dashers.
Hannon said these deliveries will be handled by “the same pool of Dashers” as restaurant delivery. Individual Dashers will decide for themselves when and if they want to take on groceries as well, but he argued that this provides a new opportunity for them, particularly between mealtimes when there’s not much demand for restaurant delivery.
Asked whether there’s any tension with grocery stores in the Drive program that may prefer bringing in customers through their own websites and apps, Hannon argued that customers in the DoorDash app represent “largely different users,” and he said the company is “philosophically agnostic” about whether customers are making purchases through the grocery store’s website/app or through DoorDash.
“DoorDash provides another convenient way for customers to get the value, selection and quality that Smart & Final offers, especially at a time when some are looking to limit trips outside their homes,” said Navin Cotton, Smart & Final’s director of digital commerce, in a statement. “DoorDash’s on-demand grocery service is a nice addition to our online shopping options and with delivery in under an hour, we know Smart & Final customers are going to appreciate it.”
Grocery prices are set by the merchant and should be the same as what you’d find in-store, Hannon said, though perhaps without buy-one-get-one-free offers and others in-store deals. These deliveries are also included in the company’s DashPass subscription, which offers free delivery and reduced service fees.
DoorDash is also offering prepared meals from a longer list of grocery partners, including Wegmans, Hy-Vee, Gelson’s, Kowalski’s, Big Y World Class Markets, Food City, Village Supermarkets, Save Mart, Lucky, Lucky California and Coborn’s.