Grocery-delivery app Instacart expanding to RI

(credit: Instacart)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The grocery-delivery service Instacart will expand its service into the Providence metropolitan area on Thursday, the company has announced.

The high-profile startup’s app allows consumers to order items from stores and have them delivered to their homes. Instacart said its Providence service will handle purchases at retailers including Whole Foods Market, Stop & Shop, CVS, PriceRite and Petco.

Instacart said it plans to hire more than 150 new workers to handle the shopping for 66 zip codes in parts of Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts. While the company said the official launch date is Thursday, its website says deliveries from Whole Foods are already available locally.

“Over the past year we’ve seen incredible demand in the Providence metropolitan area,” David Schloss, Instacart’s general manager, said in a statement. “Expansion into the Providence metropolitan area gives us an opportunity to expand service in the Rhode Island market.”

The company said first-time users can enter the code “HIPRV20” when they check out to receive $20 off an order of $35 or more, as well as free delivery.

Instacart was founded in 2012 and raised $400 million from investors earlier this year to fund its expansion to at least 60 markets. The Wall Street Journal reported in May that the company was valued at $3.4 billion. Its competitors include Webvan and Amazon.com, the latter of which is now purchasing Whole Foods.

Ted Nesi (tnesi@wpri.com) covers politics and the economy for WPRI.com. He writes Nesi’s Notes on Saturdays and hosts Executive Suite. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook