Dollar General partners with DoorDash for the gig economy's Final Form

Dollar General Store, main street, on 3rd March 2020 in Selma, Alabama, United States. Selma is the ...


The number of Dollar General stores available on DoorDash by the year's end.

Dollar General

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Dollar General has announced a new, expansive partnership with DoorDash that adds over 9,000 locations this month alone to the delivery app, with plans to top 10,000 available stores by the end of the year. It’s the gig economy’s Final Form; a royal marriage between two soulless, exploitative Goliaths to wring out more profit from an already exhausted, abused, demoralized, underpaid workforce.

The two companies courted each other over the summer, testing out pilot services at 600 Dollar General stores nationwide in both rural and urban communities. The aggressive push to add “bargain” store chains to DoorDash’s options reflects the stressful economic situations facing millions of Americans still struggling to make ends meet in a post-COVID, supply chain-choked world.

But hey, you can now get cheap Kraft Mac n’ Cheese microwave bowls and bottles of Fireball cinnamon whiskey delivered to your doorstep “in under an hour on average.” And oh, how the people rejoiced.

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A race to the bottom — Companies like DoorDash and Instacart have long been notorious for the ways they creatively circumvent labor decency by classifying their workers as “independent contractors” rather than actual employees. Although this practice does actually land them in hot water from time to time, overall it’s been the key to their success. Tens of thousands of people ferry goods around every day, working essentially full-time while not qualifying for any of the standard benefits like paid time off, sick leave, or healthcare.

Meanwhile, bargain stores like Dollar General and its many similar competitors engage in similarly gross behavior, particularly when it comes to keeping their employees safe during the pandemic. A partnership between the two industries is certainly a match made in Hell, albeit a completely unsurprising one.

Pushback from labor — If there is any silver lining to the situation, it’s that labor forces are doing their best to make their voices heard. Many Instacart delivery drivers and shoppers recently began an indefinite strike for better working conditions, while both state and federal governments are scrutinizing the companies’ behavior... sometimes. It’s a slow, uphill battle, but one that could have real, positive results for thousands of workers during an extremely trying time.