Instacart Ending Partnership With Whole Foods

Instacart has ended its delivery partnership with Amazon-owned grocery chain Whole Foods. Instacart CEO Apoorva Mehta announced the decision in a blog post. He wrote: “We expect to ramp down all remaining Whole Foods in-store shopping operations in preparation for Whole Foods to fully exit our marketplace in the coming months.”

The service will be slowly phased out over the coming months. Further details as to why the partnership ended have not been provided. The most likely reason is that Instacart is no longer needed since Amazon has its own massive delivery fleet that can be used to deliver items from Whole Foods.

There are currently 1,415 in-store Instacart shoppers who work specifically at 76 Whole Foods locations. Mehta said in his post that he expects to be able to place the majority of these workers in new jobs at other stores. Mehta wrote: “We expect to be able to place more than 75 percent of all our impacted in-store Whole Foods shoppers in new in-store shopper jobs at another retailer in their area. For our remaining impacted shoppers, we are committed to doing everything we can to support you.”

The company will be offering transfer bonuses to all current Whole Foods couriers being transitioned to new stores. Those being laid off will receive a separation package based on a minimum of three months of maximum monthly pay in 2018. Roughly 240 of the affected workers have already been informed that they will lose their jobs at Whole Foods on February 10, 2019.

Instacart currently partners with 300 different chains across the United States, including Sam’s Club, Costco, CVS, Albertsons, and Kroger. The company employs about 70,000 workers to shop for its customers. The end of the relationship with Whole Foods is expected to reduce Instacart’s revenue by less than five percent.

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