Instacart Workers Strike, Other COVID-19 News Updates
Here are the latest stories to emerge as retailers and brands deal with the impact that the global spread of the coronavirus has had on their businesses. This daily update offers retail executives the chance to stay-up-to-date on all that's happening within the retail industry, particularly as they put into motion their own COVID-19 response plans.
- Thousands of Instacart shoppers, who are considered independent contractors, began striking Monday for guaranteed protections. They're calling for the company to provide hand sanitizer and wipes, and so-called hazard pay of an extra $5 an order. The startup has more than 200,000 contracted workers making multiple trips to grocery stores and delivering items to people's homes. The Instacart shoppers aren't alone in their efforts to win added benefits during this time of crisis. Hundreds of Amazon warehouse workers in California's Inland Empire delivered a petition to their management team Sunday night demanding improved benefits, cleaner facilities and better notification as positive coronavirus cases continue to surface.
- Simon Property, the largest U.S. mall operator, announced today that it has furloughed roughly 30 percent of its workforce, CNBC has learned, as the company copes with all of its properties being temporarily shuttered because of the coronavirus pandemic. The furloughs impact full- and part-time workers, at Simon Property's Indianapolis headquarters, and at its malls and outlet centers across the U.S. In addition, the company has announced an undisclosed number of layoffs.
- In an unprecedented case, Modell's Sporting Goods has received a temporary suspension in the proceedings of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The decision by Judge Vincent F. Papalia was made to counter the operational shutdown of Modell's store closing sales caused by COVID-19. The sporting goods retailer has been granted the ability to temporarily freeze its Chapter 11 case until at least April 30. The bankruptcy process is expected to resume once the coronavirus crisis is no longer deemed a threat and the stores can resume operations.
- Mercato, the online grocery e-commerce platform for independently owned grocery and specialty food stores, is waiving delivery fees for those 60 years of age and older through at least May 7. In partnership with its preferred delivery provider, DoorDash, Mercato will provide unlimited, on-demand delivery of fresh groceries and pantry staples to seniors who feel safer ordering from their computer and getting food delivered to their homes within hours.