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Whole Foods, Instacart partnership coming to an end

Instacart says about 240 in-store shoppers stationed in Whole Foods markets will be affected in February.

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Kaitlin Myers, a shopper for Instacart, forages for a customer at a Whole Foods in Denver.

Cyrus McCrimmon/Getty Images

Instacart is pulling in-store shoppers out of Whole Foods markets.

On Thursday, Instacart said its partnership with Whole Foods is "beginning to wind down," with the online grocery-delivery service wrapping up in-store shopping operations at Whole Foods markets during the next few months.

"For our in-store Whole Foods shoppers who are personally impacted by this news, we're deeply committed to being transparent about what this means for you and plan to share any updates with you as they become available," Instacart CEO Apoorva Mehta said in a blog post.

Instacart has about 1,400 in-store shoppers across different Whole Foods markets, the company said, adding that about 240 will be affected beginning Feb. 10. Instacart plans to place more than 75 percent of these impacted shoppers in new positions at another retailer in their area, it said. Shoppers who aren't placed will receive a minimum of three month's worth of pay.

Amazon bought the Whole Foods chain last year for $13.7 billion and has brought the market onto its giant e-commerce platform.

In June, Amazon and Whole Foods expanded their two-hour food delivery service for Prime members to Baltimore, Boston, Philadelphia and Richmond, Virginia. In early July, Prime members who spent $10 in Whole Foods stores got a $10 account credit on Amazon on Prime Day, July 16. Amazon and the grocery chain brought their grocery-delivery service to more US cities in the same month.

In addition, Amazon in August introduced grocery pickup through Prime Now at two Whole Foods stores, in Sacramento and Virginia Beach, Virginia. In September, Amazon rolled out its grocery-delivery service to 10 more cities, making the service available in a total of 38 cities.

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