Dick’s Sporting Goods picks Instacart for same-day delivery

Dick's Sporting Goods is teaming with Instacart to offer same-day delivery from more than 150 stores, in states including Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Virginia, the companies announced Friday.

The service, which went live on Instacart's platform this week, comes during the final leg of the holiday season. And this year, shoppers have been buying online in record numbers, putting heightened pressure on retailers and carriers like UPS and FedEx to get packages to doorsteps, as promised.

Shoppers increasingly want to receive their internet purchases as quickly as possible. Delivery platforms like Instacart, DoorDash and Target's Shipt are seen more and more as invaluable in the retail ecosystem. Bed Bath & Beyond earlier this month partnered with Shipt to offer free, same-day delivery for a limited time during the holidays. But for Dick's, a tie-up with Instacart will last beyond the holiday season, and the retailer hopes to expand its same-day shipping over time.

"We're planning on rolling this out to more stores. But with the holidays, we just wanted to make sure to get something up and running for a considerable amount of our customers," said Joe Pietropola, senior vice present of e-commerce at Dick's. "We were able to get that done headed into this final rush, with the last 10 days to [Christmas]."

"Our customers have been asking for convenience and speed, and that's what led us to look at a partnership with Instacart, to really broaden our portfolio of being able to meet the customer wherever, whenever," Pietropola added.

Earlier in the year, when its stores were forced temporarily shut due to the Covid pandemic, Dick's quickly rolled out curbside pickup nationwide, allowing people to more quickly retrieve their online orders without having to venture indoors.

That has proven to be another boost for e-commerce sales. Many Americans have been scouring the internet for workout apparel and equipment to stay fit and to entertain themselves, with most activities and social gatherings canceled because of the health crisis.

"In analyzing the [new] curbside experience, we saw a lot of customers were coming to pick up their order the same day they placed it, and then more acutely, a really nice percentage of them were coming the same hour," Pietropola said.

In its latest quarter ended Oct. 31, Dick's reported e-commerce sales growth of 95%, along with record quarterly same-store sales gains of more than 23%. Online sales overall accounted for about 21% of total net sales, up from 13% a year earlier. And Dick's said its stores fulfilled about 70% of its digital purchases during the period.

Same-day delivery provider Instacart, meantime, has been ramping up its partnerships with retailers this year, to include Staples, Best Buy and Sephora.

As of Thursday's trading, Dick's shares are up more than 6% this year, bringing its market cap to $4.7 billion.

The 2020 holiday season could be a make or break it for many retailersPower Lunch


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