Raley’s is expanding its delivery service throughout the Sacramento area as grocery competition continues to rise.

The grocer said Monday that it is offering the expanded service through its eCart e-commerce platform, which enables online ordering. The delivery service, launched in Alameda in August, now includes residents living in Sacramento, Elk Grove, Roseville, Folsom and El Dorado Hills.

The service is offered in specific ZIP codes. That list can be seen at raleys.com/go/delivery.

“We continue to invest in e-commerce and are excited to launch delivery in Sacramento just in time for the holiday season,” said Deirdre Zimmermann, head of e-commerce and marketing, in a statement. “We have been aggressive in the development of eCart, analyzing shopping data and customer needs assessments to build our platform to maintain especially high standards for this personalized shopping service.”

Raley’s said all customers will receive free delivery on their first orders; after that, the delivery fee is $5 per order.

The West Sacramento-based company also said personal shopping fees may apply. There is no personal shopping fee for the first three orders or any order of more than $100. Orders below $100 have a personal shopping fee of $5.95. There is no minimum order amount.

Under the program, “personal shoppers” hand-select delivery orders. Orders must be placed at least two hours in advance and will be delivered within a 30-minute window selected by the customer. All delivery orders must be paid online during checkout.

Order recipients must be present at the time of delivery and provide a signature.. Raley’s said delivery drivers “are not able to accept tips.”

On Monday, Raley’s officials touted the timing of the expanded delivery program to match the beginning of the holiday season, but it also comes at a time of increased competition to deliver goods to doorsteps throughout the region.

Safeway already has a delivery option. Amazon has stopped serving new customers in the Sacramento region with its Amazon Fresh grocery service, but analysts expect the tech giant to experiment with new grocery delivery methods after its purchase of Whole Foods Market in June this year.

Also in June, Amazon launched its Prime Now fast-delivery service for items sold by Sacramento-area Sprouts Farmers Market and Pet Food Express stores. Walmart announced in September that it’s testing a so-called “straight-to-your-fridge” service.

Others have set up grocery delivery services throughout Northern California this year.

In February, Blue Apron, the New York-based fresh ingredients and meal delivery service, chose Fairfield to locate its West Coast packaging and fulfillment hub, with the promise of more than 1,000 jobs at a 430,000-square-foot warehouse at Gateway 80 Business Park after an expected 2018 opening.

Also this year, two San Francisco companies began delivering groceries customized to the needs of Sacramento-area customers. Instacart launched its internet-based grocery-delivery service in March. In May, it teamed up with personalized nutrition service provider PlateJoy to offer same-day delivery of groceries tailored to individual nutrition requests.

Raley’s currently has 95 Raley’s, Bel Air Market and Nob Hill Foods stores that offer curbside pickup using the eCart platform. More information on Raley’s eCart services can be seen at shop.raleys.com.

Founded in 1935, Raley’s operates 122 stores in Northern California and Nevada under four banners: Raley’s Supermarkets, Bel Air Markets, Nob Hill Foods and Food Source.

Source: The Sacramento Bee