As the largest metropolitan area in the state, the Twin Cities is used to getting things first. But here’s one interesting exception: Google has rolled its next-day delivery service to our southern neighbor – Rochester – before us.
The reason appears to be mostly geographic. Brian Elliot, the general manager of Google Express, explained to the Rochester Post-Bulletin that Rochester is closer to the company's Midwest hub of Chicago.
"We got up to Rochester, but not to the Twin Cities," he told the newspaper. "We'd love to get there. Over time, I'd expect we will. It's a sort of a one step at a time project."
The debut of Google Express in Rochester and in neighboring rural areas is part of a major push throughout the Midwest. St. Louis, Cleveland, Des Moines and Detroit are among the other cities that were part of today's launch. Google Express, which is an arm of the California-based company, debuted about two years ago and has partnered with retailers such as Whole Foods, Costco, Staples and Toys R Us.
While it doesn't yet have Google Express' delivery service, the Twin Cities has still become one of the latest battlegrounds in the growing delivery wars. A number of companies ranging from startups to sophisticated retailers and technology firms have been introducing new delivery services here in recent months.
Amazon rolled out its “Prime Now” same-day delivery service in the Twin Cities earlier this month for members of its $99-a-year Prime membership program. (Google Express charges $95 a year for unlimited deliveries or it has an a la carte option that comes with a $4.99 fee per order.)
Instacart, Postmates, DoorDash, TryCaviar, and Target are among the other companies that have started delivery programs in the region.