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Albertsons (ACI) Takes Another Step to Boost Grocery Deliveries

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Technological advancements have radically transformed the way we shop. From online ordering to flexible delivery systems, consumers can choose from a variety of shopping options that suit their lifestyle. Markedly, e-commerce and related services reached a whole new high amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as consumers looked for ways to meet their daily needs, while maintaining social distancing norms. Progressing along these lines, several grocery retailers across the United States are ramping up their e-commerce offerings. Leading food and drug products retailer Albertsons Companies, Inc. (ACI - Free Report) is also one among them.

Recently, Albertsons installed a contactless automated grocery PickUp kiosk at one of its Jewel-Osco stores in Chicago. In fact, the company prides in being one of the first American grocery retailers to offer such automated kiosk-related services. Going ahead, the company plans to expand such offerings in order to provide easy shopping experience for its customers.

Prudent Measures to Bolster Delivery Services

Albertsons has developed the automated PickUp kiosk in collaboration with Cleveron. Customers can easily pick up their groceries from these kiosks by simply scanning a code. The kiosk features regular and deep freeze temperature zones. Customer’s orders that are stored in these different temperature zones are deliverable in the same console.

After customers complete scanning the code on their phones, groceries are robotically delivered to the front of the kiosk. Not only is the process swift and easy, it also eliminates contact with sales personnel. Customers who select the kiosk pickup option are allotted a two-hour time slot for picking up orders. The company’s Chicago kiosk is currently functional and is fulfilling orders. The company is planning to install a second kiosk in the Bay Area Safeway in the near term.

Albertsons is quite proactive when it comes to strengthening omni-channel services, as online demand continues to surge. It has been particularly focused on expanding contactless services. In October 2020, the company installed PickUp lockers across several Jewel-Osco stores. Its pickup services such as Drive Up & Go options have been attracting greater household spending. Notably, the company is striving to expand Drive Up & Go services to more retail outlets. It also teamed up with third party operators to provide seamless deliveries. In fact, through collaboration with third-party vendors, the company offers deliveries within two hours.

Well, such prudent measures to boost delivery services helped this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company register growth of 243% in digital sales, during second-quarter fiscal 2020. Management highlights that digital sales for the said period were mainly driven by new customer additions through the expansion of Drive Up & Go services across stores.  

Wrapping Up

Industry experts opine that food retailers are likely to increasingly adopt contactless delivery options, as consumers are depicting rising preference for such modes of shopping amid the pandemic. Hence, Albertsons’ measures to strengthen online services are likely to continue yielding. Apart from this, the company is striving to expand digital payment facilities alongside expanding the availability of online assortments. Additionally, efforts to strengthen production at fulfillment centers are encouraging. Markedly, shares of the company have gained 14.7% in the past three months against the industry’s decline of 4.9%.

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