Instacart Is Moving Beyond The Grocery Store – Partners With Walgreens For Same-Day Delivery On Medications, Hygiene Products, And Beauty Items

Instacart started as a grocery delivery service. But it’s increasingly moving into delivering office supplies, sporting goods, televisions, makeup and drug store essentials.

Its latest move: Instacart announced a partnership with Walgreens (WBA) Tuesday for same-day delivery on over-the-counter medications, beauty items and other drug store purchases. The partnership will start in Illinois and expand across the United States in the coming weeks to nearly 8,000 Walgreens stores.

The tie-up is happening as online shopping accelerates during the pandemic, and both Instacart and Walgreens are looking for ways to reach new customers.

Instacart is competing against Amazon (AMZN) and other delivery platforms like Postmates, DoorDash and Shipt, which is owned by Target. Teaming up with Walgreens helps Instacart continue to try to become an alternative to Amazon.

“Adding another big retail name to its roster is a win for Instacart,” Neil Saunders, managing director at GlobalData Retail, said in an email. “Given Walgreens’ massive store footprint, this expands choice for a lot of Instacart users.” 

Instacart mainly uses independent contract workers, not its own employees, to deliver orders, and its contract workers will shop for the items at Walgreens stores and then deliver them.

Since the pandemic began in March, Instacart has added hundreds of thousands of new contract workers. The company has also struck partnerships since then with Best Buy (BBY), Dick’s Sporting Goods (DKS), Sephora and Staples as it seeks to deliver a wider range of goods from top retailers. In August, Instacart partnered with Walmart (WMT), one of Amazon’s biggest competitors, to deliver groceries, home decor and electronics items. 

CEO Apoorva Mehta told CNN Business in 2019 that an IPO for Instacart is “on the horizon,” and Instacart was valued at $17.7 billion in its latest round of funding in October.

In addition to the Instacart partnership, Walgreens offers delivery through Postmates and DoorDash and curbside pickup on online orders.

Drug stores have been focused on being local and convenient options for customers to grab essential items, but the rise of online shopping and home delivery has threatened that position, said Saunders. “Being on a platform like Instacart helps to remedy the weakness.” And since Walgreens does not have a delivery infrastructure of its own, it is partnering with companies that do, he said.

Source: CNN Business

Beauty Products CEO Larry Gaynor Goes on Racist Rant Over Vietnamese Nail Salons in Webinar Meeting, Calls Vietnamese People Enemies and Mocks Vietnamese Language

A beauty entrepreneur has sparked outrage after referring to Vietnamese salons as the “biggest enemy” in the nail business, claiming that their practices do nothing but “destroy” the industry.

“I cannot support any partner that supports the Vietnamese,” said Larry Gaynor, who founded TNG Worldwide in 1985 and currently serves as its president and chief executive officer.

Gaynor reportedly made his comments in a recent webinar for “Diamond Partners” — owners of beauty businesses awarded with benefits for their loyalty to TNG products.

In his tirade, the entrepreneur criticized Vietnamese salons for their sanitation, pricing, and “the way they talk,” in which he used a mock accent to convey his point.

Source: NextShark

Amoeba Music Announces Permanent Closure of Famed Sunset Boulevard Location, Set to Reopen at New Hollywood Boulevard this Fall

On Monday (April 27), Amoeba announced that the famed Los Angeles retail outlet would not be reopening at its original location, where it has sat since 2001. All efforts will now be focused on opening the store at its new space on Hollywood Boulevard, where it is slated to open in the fall.

“This is heartbreaking for us,” reads a statement posted to the Amoeba website. “We never envisioned not being able to give the store the send-off it deserves, to give you all a chance to say goodbye. We had so many events planned to celebrate our history at 6400 Sunset! But we are facing too many mitigating circumstances that simply won’t allow for it.”

The statement notes that because music stores aren’t considered “essential” businesses by the state of California, it most likely wouldn’t be able to open even if “safer at home” restrictions are eased this summer. Even if it were given the go-ahead, the statement continues, reopening would place staff and customers of the store, which sees over a million visitors a year, at risk of contracting the virus.

Source: Billboard