On-demand delivery startup DoorDash has launched a digital storefront to sell household items, as well as the types of things you’d find at a convenience store. So, chips, ice cream, spices and packaged foods from local restaurants. Called DashMart, the convenience store is available in eight cities throughout the U.S. and plans to launch in additional cities over the next few months.
These are essentially micro-fulfillment centers that carry around 2,000 items where DashMart warehouse associates pick and pack the orders, and then delivery workers, known as Dashers, come to collect the order and deliver to the customer.
The move into the virtual storefront comes a few months after DoorDash partnered with more than 1,800 convenience stores throughout the country to better respond to the needs of customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, DoorDash has been under scrutiny for its labor practices, especially amid this global health crisis. Last month, San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin sued DoorDash for “illegally misclassifying employees as independent contractors.” In the complaint, Boudin argues DoorDash misclassified its workers and in doing so, engages in unfair labor practices.
In a statement to TechCrunch at the time, DoorDash said it’s been supportive of its workers throughout the pandemic by offering them safety equipment, telemedicine and more. DoorDash has also long been a proponent of keeping its workers classified as independent contractors.
Up for vote this November is Prop 22, a measure backed by DoorDash, Uber, Lyft and Instacart, which aims to make drivers and delivery workers for said companies exempt from a new state law that classifies them as W-2 employees.
However, a report conducted by the Partnership for Working Families argues voting yes on Prop 22 would “create a permanent underclass of workers in a growing sector of the economy.”