Albertsons Cos. has begun piloting an Instacart-powered online grocery pickup service in six major cities.
The new click-and-collect service, which is currently available in 40 stores, will work in tandem with Albertsons’ Drive Up & Go curbside pickup program, reported Supermarket News (Aug. 24).
DIGITAL STILL RESONATING WITH CONSUMERS
Albertsons has seen its digital sales grow over 276% over the past few years. And demand for online grocery does not appear to be waning.
In the first quarter ended June 19, Albertsons added more than 320 new Drive Up & Go sites, ending the period with 1,740 pickup locations overall. Drive Up & Go sales climbed 75% year over year for the quarter, and the service has become the fastest-growing part of the company’s e-commerce business, according to President and CEO Vivek Sankaran.
In June 2021, nearly one-fourth of consumers reported still using curbside pickup or grocery stores’ own delivery services more than pre-pandemic levels, due to the coronavirus, per a study by Research and Markets. Additionally, grocery e-commerce sales reached $6.7 billion in July while ship-to-home sales declined to $1.4 billion and pickup/delivery sales remained steady at about $5.3 billion, according to Brick Meets Click.
“The July results clearly reinforce that online shopping has maintained a significant portion of last year’s gains, especially for pickup and delivery, but the surge in new COVID-19 cases during July appears to have impacted shoppers’ buying behaviors differently than at the onset of this crisis in 2020,” said David Bishop partner and research lead, Brick Meets Click, in the report.
ALBERTSONS SHIFTS TOWARD THIRD-PARTY PROVIDERS
Over 90% of Albertsons stores currently offer on-demand delivery of groceries through Instacart, as well as its own service and last-mile providers such as DoorDash.
However, earlier this year, the retailer announced intentions to shift grocery delivery away from its own service and more to third-party providers. The company ended its own home delivery fleet in February in 10 states.
Earlier this summer, the company also unveiled plans to provide DoorDash and Uber last-mile delivery for almost 2,000 stores and 1,200 stores, respectively.