MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) —It could be a grocery game changer.

Starting Tuesday, Target is partnering with a company that is known as the Uber of grocery delivery.

Instacart is currently operating in 17 other cities and it offers a very different model than traditional online ordering.

In addition to Target, the stores you can order from include Whole Foods, Cub, Costco, Petco, two metro area co-ops and the Asian grocery store United Noodles. And you can get items from different stores in a single order.

Instacart says it has hired 100 personal shoppers in the Twin Cities to fill orders.

For now the order area is largely contained to Minneapolis and the inner ring of the southwest suburbs. A small portion of St. Paul is also included.

But Instacart is promising its service area will be expanding quickly.

Related Link: Find Out If Instacart Services Your Area

You want the milk from Whole Foods, some pet food from Petco and the rest of your groceries from Target? An Instacart shopper will go to all those stores and deliver to your door within hours.

“With Instacart, you have access to your favorite brands, your favorite local stores, without having to leave your home,” said Andrea Saul, an Instacart vice president.

On orders over $35, the price for the service is $3.99 for two-hour delivery and $5.99 for one-hour delivery. Unlimited free delivery of orders over $35 costs $99 per year.

You can type in your zip code on the Instacart website to see if your area is being served. Target said it is teaming up  with Instacart as a service to consumers.

“For us, this is really about convenience,” Target spokesman Eddie Babe said.

Marketing professor David Brennan said that for Target, being part of Instacart is a matter of survival.

“Target needs to be part of this [trend] to neutralize it, to at least keep the dollars flowing in, rather than not having people come to the stores,” Brennan said.

Other grocery stores, including Lund’s and Byerly’s and CobornsDelivers, already offer local delivery.

But Instacart’s speed and selection will provide stiff competition.

Rebecca Kurowski from CobornsDelivers said Coborns will be monitoring Instacart’s roll out to see if Coborns needs to make adjustments to its delivery service.

And another online option could be coming soon if, as some analysts expect, Amazon adds same-day grocery delivery when its Shakopee distribution center opens next year.

Reaction from consumers at one of the Twin Cities Instacart co-ops ranged from intrigued to dismissive.

“It seems interesting,” Liza Docken said. “I would definitely look into it.”

But Kelly Johnson said, “I don’t know if I want someone doing that for me or not.”

And you may have noticed that Costco is part of the Instacart shopping network. You do not need to be a Costco member to place an order for Costco through Instacart.

Instacart has not provided a timeline for when it will expand its service area.

Esme Murphy

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