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Instacart to end partnership with top customer Whole Foods

Key Points
  • Instacart said on Thursday it would start winding down its delivery services for Whole Foods Market, ending a partnership that has been in question since last year when Amazon.com acquired the grocer.
  • About 75 percent of Instacart's 1,415 part-time delivery employees at 76 Whole Foods locations would be transferred to other retailers after the separation, which would begin in February 2019.
  • Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods rocked the U.S. grocery space in 2017 and the ecommerce giant has since steadily increased the speed of delivery throughout its system, including by expanding one-day and one-hour delivery.
InstaCart employees fulfill orders for delivery
Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Instacart said on Thursday it would start winding down its delivery services for Whole Foods Market, ending a partnership that has been under stress since last year when Amazon.com acquired the grocer.

About 75 percent of Instacart's 1,415 part-time delivery employees at 76 Whole Foods locations would be transferred to other retailers after the separation, which would begin in February 2019, Chief Executive Officer and former Amazon employee Apoorva Mehta said.

Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods rocked the U.S. grocery space in 2017 and the ecommerce giant has since steadily increased the speed of delivery throughout its system, including by expanding one-day and one-hour delivery.

The separation between Instacart and Whole Foods was mutually agreed upon, a source familiar with the situation said.

Meanwhile, Instacart has been expanding to more retailers, adding about 100 retail partners this year. Reuters reported in November Instacart had raised $271 million from investors, including Tiger Global Management bring the company's valuation to $7.87 billion.

Instacart lets customers order milk and eggs from over 300 retailers including Walmart Inc, Aldi Inc and Kroger Co.