Bill Smith founded Shipt in Birmingham, Alabama. Growing up, Smith went to a high school in Homewood, a suburb of Birmingham in southeastern Jefferson county. Smith mentions how he believes Birmingham is the ideal city to start his company because “of our most loyal customers. Not early adopters who only sign up for a free trial period, but people who actually benefit… and incorporate it into their weekly routines” (Burgess). Smith began Shipt with the idea of developing a modern system to change how people buy groceries; that is exactly what Shipt has accomplished. Smith recognized that if his concept for modernized grocery delivery made its success in Birmingham, then it would be a success across the country. Only three years later, Target bought Shipt for a whopping $550 million dollars.
The influence of Shipt has shaped much of how Target advertises themselves today. They pride themselves on swift same-day delivery which would never have been possible without Shipt. Smith believes people in the South and secondary cities (which is where they targeted most of their business) view his company as the original blueprint of this idea because Shipt was the first to service those cities. CNBC writer Sarah Berger shares, “Now, the rivals operate in overlapping markets: Instacart serves shoppers in many smaller areas and Shipt has expanded to larger metro areas…” (Berger). It will be compelling to see where Shipt goes in the future and how the company advances in relation to its partnership with Target. With delivery services reaching their peak because of the ongoing pandemic, it is likely that they will continue to be extremely prosperous. Although this is the case, the fine line Shipt defined themselves since the beginning is starting to blur as the company grows, much like Instacart and Amazon Fresh.
- “The Story of Shipt and How It Revolutionized Grocery Shopping.”: https://www.al.com/bhammag/2018/04/the_story_of_shipt_and_how_it.html.
Anthony Confessore is a Junior studying Communication at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He grew up in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, and loves walking his dogs with his girlfriend, searching for new clothes, and caring for plants. While Anthony isn’t attending school, he is working at a plant nursery or listening to music.