In a fairly predictable move, Google Express will be trying to expand into the delivery-from-Whole Foods market by testing the service in SF later this year, according to a Google Express manager who spoke to the Bloomberg. It's a partnership with both Whole Foods and Costco, actually, and may involve some other retailers as well. And this puts Google ahem, Alphabet in direct competition with Instacart, and with AmazonFresh, which launched its grocery delivery service here over a year ago.
This news arrives just weeks after we heard that Google Express was shutting down its SF and Mountain View warehouse hubs, which was happening in the face of some union organizing by warehouse workers. The new test of Google Express will rely only the retail partners, taking the warehouse out of the equation.
Also, this news comes just as we got word in July that Amazon Fresh was planning to open one of its first quick-stop grocery pickup locations in Sunnyvale, allowing customers the option of pre-ordering and picking up their groceries at a physical drive-through-type location. That news is, as yet, not confirmed by Amazon.
While Google Express already delivers dry goods, in some cities, this expansion will allow them to deliver "the whole store" for the first time, as Brian Elliott, general manager of Google Express, told Bloomberg. "It’s in our incentive, as well as the merchant’s incentive, for us to help customers get the full store delivered to them," he said.
As the SF Business Times adds, Google Express "will also expand next-day deliveries in the Midwest places like Indiana, Wisconsin and Ohio."
In other news, are the business publications really just ignoring the fact that Google is just a search engine and the company is called Alphabet now?