Shipt, an independent unit of retail giant Target, announced this week that plans to add 100,000 Shoppers to its delivery force, bringing the total number of Shipt Shoppers to 300,000 in time for the holidays (hat tip to Supermarket News).
Shipt Shoppers are the gig workers who actually go into the store, choose the items on an order, and make the deliveries. Shipt now works with 120 of retail partners to deliver groceries and other household goods. Unlike other delivery services — Walmart+, Amazon Prime, etc. — Shipt doesn’t require a subscription commitment to use the service, instead allowing Shipt users to pay per delivery.
That Shipt is swelling its ranks isn’t that surprising. As noted, the holidays are approaching, and with the pandemic still going strong, many people will be eating at home instead of celebrating with nights out on the town. COVID-19 has spurred record amounts of online grocery shopping this year, and the whole grocery e-commerce sector is expected to grow to $250 billion by 2025.
As such, Shipt isn’t the only delivery service bulking up. Instacart, which increased its Shopper ranks to 750,000 to meet our pandemic grocery needs, also bolstered its warchest this week, raising another $200 million in funding. Add to that other retailers like Walmart and Amazon making aggressive same-day grocery delivery moves. Shipt needs to ensure it has a sizeable enough workforce to fulfill any influx of orders and keep people from looking elsewhere for delivery slots.
The grocery delivery battle was already cutthroat enough, but the holidays could intensify that situation even more. I’m sure it’s a topic we’ll be discussing with Shipt CEO, Kelly Caruso, as she joins us for a chat at next week’s virtual Smart Kitchen Summit. Get your ticket today and get a glimpse at the future of food delivery!