Instacart’s surprise decision to replace its CEO with a prominent Facebook executive followed a big drop-off in sales from last year’s pandemic-boosted results. At the same time there are signs that some supermarket partners are chafing at the restrictive terms of their agreements with the grocery-delivery service.
San Francisco–based Instacart saw its sales roughly quadruple last spring when fears about Covid-19 drove many consumers to sign up for online deliveries. The sharp growth appeared to reinforce the company’s prospects as it geared up to go public and mapped out plans to expand internationally. But sales started declining in late March as vaccines began beating the pandemic and new entrants such as DoorDash battled for grocery-delivery customers.