Target-owned delivery service company Shipt said it wants to add 100,000 additional workers to help shop orders during the busy holiday season.
The move comes as some workers plan a walkout later this month to push back on changes to how they are paid.
Shipt on Wednesday said it is actively recruiting workers to shop and deliver groceries and other necessities to customers' homes. The increase in "shoppers" will be in all markets where the company operates but with a particular focus on the Twin Cities, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Mich., New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston and Chicago.
The new hires would push the number of Shipt's shoppers, who are contract workers, to more than 300,000. The company doubled the number to 200,000 in the spring.
"We're embarking on a holiday season like none before, and taking proactive steps to ensure we can help American families get everything on their holiday list — groceries, essentials, gifts, home decor and apparel — in a safe, affordable, convenient way," said Shipt CEO Kelly Caruso in a statement.
Like many other delivery companies, business has been booming for Shipt since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year.
Caruso said last month that order volume nearly tripled during April, May and June compared with the same time last year. Target saw revenue on orders fulfilled by Shipt grow more than 350% year over year in its second fiscal quarter.
At the same time it was increasing its number of workers, Shipt also was instituting numerous changes to its business model, including how the workers were paid.
Previously, Shipt shoppers were paid using a well-known formula that was mostly based on the total cost of an order. The new pay model, which was rolled out last month, was created to calculate "effort" and considers factors such as estimated drive time, the number of items in the order and whether it was during peak shopping windows, Shipt has said.
However, groups of workers have pushed back on the new pay structure saying that it has led to less transparency and decreases in pay. Shoppers have also begun to submit letters to Caruso to express their dissatisfaction with the changes.
"It's no coincidence that Shipt is hiring 100,000 new shoppers simultaneous with cutting shopper pay," said Willy Solis, a Shipt worker from the Dallas area, who helped plan a similar walk off during the summer. "Veteran shoppers have expectations of former pay, and know their worth. Shipt is not creating 100,000 new jobs — they are hiring our replacements who they can exploit."
Groups of shoppers plan to stage a "walkout" and not accept orders from Oct. 17-19. Workers plan to demonstrate outside of Target's headquarters in Minneapolis where they will march a few blocks from Target's downtown store to its offices and read letters from disgruntled colleagues. Workers also will stage a demonstration outside of Shipt's main offices in Birmingham, Ala.
Shipt fulfills online orders and delivers for nearly 120 retailers across the United States, including Party City, Bed Bath & Beyond and Buybuy Baby.