Lowe’s may still be Avis to Home Depot’s Hertz atop the home improvement sector, but it has something the orange big-box giant doesn’t: nationwide same-day delivery through an expansion of a trial that began in February with formerly grocery-only service Instacart in select locations.
The companies announced this week that same-day delivery will be available from more than 1,700 Lowe’s stories nationwide, with 30,000 items available in as little as an hour, including bulkier items such as portable grills and firepits. Lowe’s says it’s one of the first retailers to take advantage of Instacart’s app-based service.
Home Depot, which was one of the first announced retail customers of Walmart’s outsourced GoLocal delivery service last fall, expanded it to multiple markets by the end of 2021. But it doesn’t allow for delivery of big and bulky items as Lowe’s does. The latter lets customers to order items up to up to 3x3x5 feet and 60 pounds that can come same day via the new Instacart service.
In March, Walmart merged GoLocal with its Delivery Services platform which provides access to a network of last-mile carriers for merchants and offers tracking, visibility and communication for end customers.
“Lowe’s knows how much this time of year means to our customers,” said Mike Shady, Lowe’s senior vice president of online in a release. “Whether they are rounding out their Halloween decorating or getting started on holiday prep and gifting, we’re able to offer more products, more convenience and more value for customers as we continue to improve the shopping experience in-store and online.”
In a related move, Instacart last month rolled out a big-and-bulky delivery offering, entering the sphere of last-mile providers like UPS’s Roadie and XPO Logistics. Some early customers of the service include Big Lots, Container Store, Mastermind Toys, Office Depot, Spirit Halloween and Staples. The company touts the ability for shoppers to order larger items like televisions alongside their typical grocery order.
Instacart’s expansion of its mainstay grocery delivery service make perfect sense, given the falloff in the last year of e-grocery and symbiotic delivery services, after a massive boom driven by the pandemic lockdowns.