Grocery-delivery startup Instacart Inc. has refrained from rushing expansion beyond the U.S., unlike many other startups valued at more than $1 billion. But Amazon.com Inc . AMZN -0.60% ’s surprising acquisition of Whole Foods has changed those plans.
Instacart is close to a deal to partner with Canada’s largest grocer, Loblaw Cos., to launch its service there in the coming months, the startup’s first international foray amid increasing competition, according to people familiar with the matter.
The deal will allow Instacart to begin delivering groceries from Loblaw stores in Toronto and then expand nationally throughout the grocer chain over the next year, one of the people said. Instacart already has delivery deals with well-known U.S. retail chains, including Whole Foods, Costco Wholesale Corp. COST +0.20% and Target Corp. TGT -0.63% , where the startup relies on contract employees to pick and bag groceries and then deliver them to customers’ doorsteps.
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