Have you been strolling the aisles of your nearest grocery store lately and felt like you’re the only one buying items for yourself? At least in larger cities, the prevalence of professional shoppers for delivery apps like InstaCart or Amazon Prime Now has changed the grocery shopping experience for a lot of people.
According to a story from New York magazine’s “Grub Street,” the demand for online grocery delivery has grown so much since the pandemic began that grocery stores continue to struggle keeping products on shelves for those of us who still crave picking out our own fruits and vegetables.
Of course, professional shoppers (gig workers who often deal with unpredictable wages) aren’t really the problem so much as they are a side effect. But that hasn’t stopped some Whole Foods employees from complaining that they are “vultures” who “pick departments clean,” according to Business Insider.
A Whole Foods rep says the company is still evolving protocols to respond to the unprecedented growth In online grocery shopping. In places like Austin, Baltimore and Chicago, Whole Foods temporarily converted stores to fulfillment centers exclusively for online shopping early in the pandemic. And in Brooklyn, it recently opened a new delivery warehouse that’s open exclusively to professional shoppers but still looks like your typical Whole Foods on the outside.
As “Grub Street” put it, this “could be a model of a future in which companies come to terms with the fact that delivery stores and consumer stores need to be two different things.”
What’s been your experience with grocery delivery apps? Let us know in the comments!