A new pact, announced today, between privately held grocery delivery company Instacart and multi-department retailer Big Lots (NYSE:BIG) will see household goods and groceries alike available for same-day delivery from approximately 1,400 Big Lots stores. The program, launched during a time of social distancing and consumer reluctance to shop in crowded retail areas because of COVID-19, will operate in all 47 U.S. states where Big Lots has a physical store presence.

Big Lots is one of the few businesses trading above the stock market value it had prior to the coronavirus pandemic. Though its share value slumped alongside many other enterprises during the worst of the pandemic, it's now trading at approximately 13% to 30% above its pre-COVID-19 highs. It also received several positive upgrades from analysts at the end of May, despite its lack of e-commerce presence. 

A cardboard box with 
a label that says "contactless delivery" sits outside a front door.

Image source: Getty Images.

The company is correcting its weak online presence with its Instacart alliance. Big Lots' vice president of e-commerce, Erica Fortune, said today the retailer's "partnership with Instacart will bring our assortment of home goods, groceries and everyday essentials to customers online in a new way." The press release went on to note that in addition to "grocery and pantry staples," shoppers can also "select from a variety of Big Lots aisles including home goods, kitchen and dining, beauty, pet, personal care, office and craft supplies, toys and more."

Online customers shop and place their orders through the Big Lots page on the Instacart website or through the Instacart app, not on the Big Lots website. The default setting for delivery options is "Leave at My Door Delivery," ensuring a 100% contact-free shopping experience to minimize exposure.

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