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Instacart pitches itself as a way to skip shipping wait times and receive gifts ahead of Christmas by offering promotions with top retailers.

Delivery app Instacart teamed up with some retailers to hold its first “Tis a Big Deal Week” between Dec. 17 and Dec. 23. Participating retailers are offering 20% off orders of $50 or more. The promotions could help them capture some of the last Christmas season spending. 

Several retailers working with Instacart on the promotions are part of the Top 1000, Digital Commerce 360’s ranking of retailers in North America by online sales.

Retailers include:

  • Bath & Body Works (No. 56 in the Top 1000)
  • Best Buy (No. 7)
  • The Body Shop
  • The Container Store (No. 346)
  • Kiehl’s
  • Lowe’s (No. 12)
  • Michaels (No. 111)
  • Petco (No. 92)

Instacart is just one last-minute holiday fulfillment option

With less than a week left until Christmas, some retailers are promoting omnichannel fulfillment and shipping from local stores via Instacart to assure customers that they’ll receive purchases on time. 

Instacart’s promotion ahead of the holiday says that explicitly. “Perfect for last-minute gift-givers, customers can ‘skip the ship’ and save with Instacart’s same-day delivery in as fast as an hour, ensuring gifts arrive in time for Christmas,” the delivery company’s release says. 

That’s on trend with how other retailers are approaching the week leading up to Christmas, says Neil Saunders, managing director of retail at analysis firm GlobalData.


“BOPIS will be used extensively both in terms of orders placed for collection and the collection of orders placed earlier in the week,” he says. “Consumers are comfortable ordering for collection in store right up to the last minute. For many, BOPIS is a way of getting organized with last-minute shopping as it saves them having to traipse round stores finding things they need.”

Two of the biggest ecommerce retailers, Walmart and Target, are also promoting omnichannel fulfillment.  Walmart’s same-day curbside pickup and delivery will both run through Dec. 24 at 4 p.m., with an order deadline of 12 p.m. that day. Walmart also offers express delivery, which arrives in two hours. That service will also run through 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Target customers can place curbside and BOPIS (buy online, pick up in store) orders as late as 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve. The deadline to receive an order by delivery is 4 p.m. on Dec. 24, with delivery through Target’s Shipt service in as little as one hour.

Retailer strategy behind pre-holiday Instacart offers

Retailers will be assessing their inventory positions and will be discounting heavily on seasonal items” on Super Saturday and the final few shopping days before Christmas, Saunders says. “If things like holiday décor and decorations and sundries like wrapping paper and cards have not sold by Saturday, they will be keen to shift them.”

These last-minute purchases will primarily be impulse buys, likely in the beauty and fragrance and apparel categories, alongside gift cards, he says.


Pet items can also fall into this category. 

“We are proud of our longstanding partnership with Instacart to increase access to Petco’s curated selection of products supporting pets’ whole health,” Petco told Digital Commerce 360 in a statement. “With most of our Merry Makings gifts for all pet types under $20 at Petco stores and online, as well as special discounts for Instacart shoppers checking off their gift lists between now and Dec. 23, we are helping pet parents focus on what matters most — making memories together.”

A final sales push can be an opportunity to clear holiday inventory, like Christmas-themed pet toys and apparel.

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