retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The New York Post reports that “a small army” of Instacart employees has taken to social media “demanding better pay and treatment by the $7.6 billion unicorn, which has raised nearly $2 billion over the past seven years largely on the promise that it gives grocers a fighting chance to compete with Amazon.”

According to the story, “The complaints are mounting as Instacart faces the loss of its prize Whole Foods contract in December — as Amazon takes control of Whole Foods’ delivery services — just as Instacart faces an onslaught of competition from such startups like Mercato, Jyve, which just raised $35 million, and Roadie, which inked a deal this month with Walmart.”

The Post notes that on Friday, Instacart “introduced a $3 minimum for each job, “ and says that “its shoppers earn more than $15 an hour and defended its new payment system as being ‘consistent with the practices of other on-demand delivery companies’.”
KC's View:
Forget for a moment about whether these complaints are legitimate. There are now all these Instacart employees who feel under-appreciated and under-compensated, and they’re out there representing all these retailers that have put the responsibility for their e-commerce experience in Instacart’s hands.

Terrific. I’ve been arguing all along that Instacart is an acceptable short-term choice for retailers, though not a sustainable long-term option. But this has me rethinking that, and wondering if maybe the short-term has some problems, too.