Instacart is reportedly gearing up to replace their gig workers with robots.
Instacart is the popular grocery delivery app that rose to prominence during the 2020 Covid-19 Pandemic. Customers can order groceries on their phones and have them delivered to their homes by gig workers. Gig workers are dispatched to stores to pick the groceries and then drive them to the customers.
According to the New York Post, Instacart has a plan that would see their personal shoppers eliminated. The only gig workers who would remain would be those who pick fresh food and produce. The plan would be to create Amazon style fulfillment centers where robots would pick the items for customers.
The odd part of the plan: Supermarkets would have to agree to forecast possible orders and handle the inventory. Instacart would not be taking on the liability. Not one grocer has signed on to be a partner in a test facility. Instacart would also need a technology partner to develop the robots for the test facility as well.
Instacart gave a statement to the New York Post and said
“We’re constantly exploring new tools and technologies that support the needs of the 600 retailers we partner with and further enable their businesses to grow and scale over the long-term. Shoppers are and will continue to be central to Instacart and our service, and any suggestion otherwise is wholly inaccurate.”
A spokesperson for the company told Bloomberg that the company is “committed to supporting our brick-and-mortar partners and continuing to invest in and explore new tools and technologies that support the needs of their customers.”