Instacart employee checks phone for list of customer orders while picking out items at a Whole Foods. (AJC file photo)

Instacart adds 400 jobs in metro Atlanta; Walmart joins fray

Instacart will add more than 400 jobs in metro Atlanta as part of a $40 million investment and a ramping up of the battle for grocery delivery that pits it against Walmart.

The jobs will be part of a “Customer Experience Center” that the San Francisco-based company plans to build over the next two years, according to a statement issued Tuesday by Gov. Nathan Deal.

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Work at the center will be aimed at improving Instacart’s business, a spokeswoman said. Among the jobs Instacart will add are data analysts and process improvement specialists, along with various management positions.

The company’s decision validates the available workforce and infrastructure of the state, Deal said in the statement. “Georgia’s reputation for innovation and our business-friendly environment continue to attract companies powered by technology.”

Instacart service, which is available in more than 240 markets, handles deliveries for seven of the eight largest grocers in North America. Deliveries are made in as little as one hour, the company says. That accomplishment depends on its technology, according to the company.

Recent weeks have seen both job announcements and cuts in metro Atlanta. Pandora is adding about 250 jobs, and Incomm is expanding by about 150 jobs. In contrast, NCR is cutting and the number of jobs in the information sector has shrunk.

Nick Friedrich, head of customer operations for Instacart, said in statement that the customer experience center will be “a key asset in our mission to redefine the customer experience and develop support services for new Instacart products.”

The largest grocery seller in the country is Walmart, which recently announced expansion of its delivery service in metro Atlanta.

Walmart has partnered with DoorDash to deliver in most of Atlanta, as well as Alpharetta, Duluth, Dunwoody, Lilburn, Marietta, Roswell, Snellville and Stone Mountain, the company said.

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