Grocery delivery service Instacart plans to hire 12,000 shoppers in New Jersey in the next three months to keep up with grocery delivery demand.
This is part of a planned increase of 300,000 shoppers nationwide.
Order volume has grown by more than 150 percent year over year in the last few weeks, and the average customer basket size has increased by 15 percent.
“The last few weeks have been the busiest in Instacart’s history and our teams are working around the clock to reliably and safely serve all members of our community. Instacart shoppers have stepped up as household heroes for families, grandparents, and people in need coast-to-coast,” said Apoorva Mehta, founder and chief executive officer of the San Francisco-based company, in a statement.
Mehta said customer demand is expected to continue.
“As more people look for immediate, flexible earnings opportunities during this time, we hope that Instacart can be an additional source of income for those looking to earn while also delivering for the communities in which they live,” Mehta said.
While Instacart shoppers are independent contractors, the company offers benefits including shopper injury protection, an insurance plan that covers shoppers in the event of an accident while shopping or delivering with Instacart; access to the Stride Benefits Platform, which provides a suite of health and finance options including the ability to purchase health insurance; a Care.com membership for child or family care; and access to student loan assistance program Peanut Butter.
“U.S. grocers have served as the backbone of the communities they operate in for decades. Now, more than ever, they provide a critical service for Americans confined to their homes and in need of the basic necessities amid the spread of COVID-19,” said Suzanne Clark, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in a prepared statement. “Instacart is serving as a critical lifeline for millions of people and hundreds of businesses during these uncertain times. They’re not only connecting people from all 50 states to the groceries and goods they so desperately need, but they’re also stepping in to support the economy by unlocking much-needed earnings opportunities for hundreds of thousands of people who can no longer rely on their previous incomes.”
Part-time Instacart employees accrue paid sick leave, and all part-time employees and full-service shoppers have access to up to 14 days of paid leave if they are diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed in individual mandatory isolation or quarantine by a local, state, or public health authority.