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Noteworthy

Shipt Will Offer Same-Day Publix Delivery In South Florida Starting Aug. 18

In one week, you’ll be able to have Publix groceries shipped to your door.

Shipt, an Alabama-based company that lets users do their grocery shopping via a mobile app, is launching service in South Florida on Aug. 18. Shipt works primarily with Publix stores.

"When we started to think about grocery delivery and deciding on which grocery store, Publix was the obvious choice in my mind," said Shipt founder and CEO Bill Smith. “I’m a Publix customer.”

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Shipt has no formal relationship with Publix, which, as the South Florida Business Journal notes, briefly offered its own delivery service from 2001 to 2003. Smith said his company is "essentially a large customer."

With service in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach and West Palm Beach, Shipt will be the first on-demand grocery delivery company to cover the entire metropolitan area of South Florida, according to the company. 

It will also be the first in the area to deliver groceries from Publix specifically. Currently, West Palm Beach-based Cravy delivers groceries from Whole Foods Market in both Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, and Instacart delivers from Whole Foods, Costco, Winn-Dixie and Petco in Miami. 

Customers using the Shipt app can order anything sold at Publix. (Yes, that includes Pub Subs, Smith confirmed.) Personal shoppers pick up and deliver the groceries, which can arrive as soon as an hour from when the order is placed. 

Shipt’s customers include single, young professionals; busy parents with young children; people taking care of aging parents; and business offices. Personal shoppers, on the other hand, are typically people who want something to do part-time or full-time but are looking for flexibility, according to Smith, who's also a shopper himself. 

"When we go out to make deliveries to customers, they give us hugs," he said.

For $49, beta members can receive free same-day delivery for orders over $35. Regular membership after the beta launch will cost $99 annually or $14 per month.

To help cover the costs of shopping and delivery, Shipt charges a slightly higher price for each grocery item (e.g. $2.59 for a loaf of Wonderbread that might cost $2.29 at Publix). The company estimates that for a typical $35 order, the total would be about $5 more than average grocery store prices. 

South Florida is the fifth market in which Shipt is offering its services. Though he had considered other locations for his next launch, Smith said he followed customers' cries on social media for service in South Florida.

"We want to go where the customers want us," he said.

The grocery delivery app is also available in Birmingham, Alabama; Nashville, Tennessee; Dallas; and, most recently, Tampa. Shipt launched in Tampa on Aug. 4, but according to the Tampa Bay Times, the company has been having a hard time keeping up with delivery demand.

Smith said that, in South Florida, Shipt will hire more shoppers than they normally would in order to be prepared.