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Instacart to hire 250,000 new shoppers; adds new safety measures

Instacart employee

Instacart is responding to a continuing demand surge with new hires and extra steps to increase the safety and income of its shoppers.

The on-demand delivery giant plans to bring on an additional 250,000 full-service shoppers over the next two months to meet continued consumer demand for grocery delivery and pickup in North America, with the intention to return to one-hour and same-day delivery. 

With order volume growing by more than 500% year-over-year the week of April 13 and average customer basket sizes increasing by 35%, the company plans to bring on more shoppers across North America with a focus on scaling in key areas with the most consumer demand, including California, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., and Toronto.

Instacart is partnering with more than two dozen companies across a number of industries to support their employees who have been directly affected by this economic downturn. Instacart is also working alongside a number of other companies to expand its customers and shopper support team by bringing on experienced support agents whose previous positions were recently impacted.

The company is also taking the following additional steps to support the health and safety of Instacart shoppers:
•    Instacart shoppers will have access to a daily, in-app wellness check designed to help survey shoppers for any COVID-19 related symptoms. If a shopper completes the wellness check and confirms they are healthy, they may resume shopping on the platform. If a shopper confirms symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, coughing, or difficulty breathing), they will be logged off the platform for the day and instructed to contact their physician.

•    New in-app messaging makes it easier for all active shoppers to request a free health and safety kit directly from the Instacart shopper app.

•    Up to 14 days of pay for any full-service shopper or part-time employee, including in-store shopper, shift lead, site manager, or customer service agent, who is diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed in individual mandatory isolation or quarantine, as directed by a local, state, or public health authority. This financial assistance is being extended for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis.

•    Extension of bonuses for all in-store shoppers, shift leads, and site managers for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis. These bonuses are determined by the number of hours worked and range from $25 to $200.

"Instacart has become an essential service for millions of families relying on us to help deliver their groceries and household goods in the wake of COVID-19,” said Apoorva Mehta, founder and CEO of Instacart. “Overnight, we've become a necessity for millions of people and our teams are working tirelessly to launch new products that speed up our service and open up more delivery windows for customers. We're committed to getting back to one-hour and same-day delivery speeds, and in order to do that, we're continuing to grow our shopper community to meet the surge in customer demand.”

Instacart has partnered with more than 350 national, regional and local retailers to deliver from more than 25,000 stores across more than 5,500 cities in the U.S. and Canada.

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