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Instacart will bring on 300,000 new full-service shoppers due to coronavirus

Natasha Mascarenhas

San Francisco-based Instacart today announced it will bring on 300,000 shoppers for its grocery delivery platform over the next three months. The move is meant to manage an uptick in demand due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. 

The platform lets users shop from home from well-known grocery stores like Costco, Safeway, Kroger and more. Once an order is submitted, a designated grocery shopper will pick up the items and deliver it.

Once relying on the lazy shoppers among us, Instacart is now seeing an uptick in volume of orders as delivery becomes a safer option amid the novel coronavirus disease. All of a sudden, social distancing means fewer trips to the grocery stores, which means more reliance on delivery platforms like Instacart. 

In a release, Instacart noted that it operates in more than 5,500 cities and will bring on shoppers from across the country. In California, Instacart will bring on 54,000 new shoppers. In New York, the company will bring on 27,000 new shoppers. Other states like Illinois, Ohio, Georgia and New Jersey will also get thousands of new shoppers. 

The new shoppers will be offered sick pay, and it will distribute cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer to them, as well.

Grocery stores, for now, remain open across the country, even in states under lockdown. Grocers are deemed an essential business, and Instacart is helping goods get into the hands of people who can’t take the chance to leave their home.

Update: Instacart reached out to clarify that it is hiring 300,000 full-service workers, not full-time workers. The article has been updated to reflect that change.