Instacart cuts ties with Whole Foods

Instacart and Whole Foods are winding partnership down after four years

As the grocery delivery service industry continues to flourish, Instacart has become an incremental service to grocery retailers. However, not all grocers seem to feel a need to outsource their delivery service.

According to Store Brands’ sister publication Progressive Grocer, Instacart and Whole Foods Market are "winding down" their relationship after what has been a four-year partnership, immediately beginning the first phase of a transition that will affect hundreds of jobs.

In a blog entry, Apoorva Mehta, CEO of the San Francisco-based grocery technology company, announced that his company will begin scaling back its in-store shopper operations at Whole Foods stores, totaling 1,415 associates across 76 locations. Some 243 will be impacted starting Feb. 10, and in the months that follow Instacart expects to ramp down all remaining Whole Foods in-store shopping operations to prepare for the Austin, Texas-based grocer's exit from the Instacart marketplace.

As other grocers seek to expand their digital markets, online ordering with provided last-mile solutions has become one of the fastest growing markets. Other grocery retailers currently using Instacart include The Kroger Co., Hy-Vee, Sam’s Club and, most recently, Albertsons Cos.

The vast majority of Instacart shoppers work across multiple retail partners rather than a single grocer, and these shoppers who also shop Whole Foods will not be impacted. For Whole Foods specifically, the multi-store shoppers will still be able to pick, pack and deliver from Whole Foods stores nationwide until the exit.

But for the shoppers who shop Whole Foods stores exclusively, Instacart plans to place more than three-quarters of these impacted shoppers at new in-store shopper jobs with other local retailers, also offering a transfer bonus to support their transition. The company notes that it is "committed to do everything" it can to support those remaining affected shoppers.

To read the entire Progressive Grocer article, click here.