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United Supermarkets takes aim at ‘porch pirates’

As holidays approach, Texas grocer to accept FedEx packages for pickup at select stores

This holiday season, United Supermarkets is helping customers in Lubbock, Texas, thwart so-called “porch pirates,” the thieves who snatch deliveries from people’s doorsteps.

The grocery chain, part of Albertsons Cos., is allowing residents in Lubbock and surrounding communities to ship Federal Express packages directly to one of its stores — under the United, Market Street and Amigos banners — for pickup instead of to their homes.

United said the program is now available at 15 Lubbock-area stores, including 11 United locations in Lubbock, Brownfield, Lamesa, Levelland, Littlefield, Plainview, Post and Slaton; two Market Street stores in Lubbock; and two Amigos locations in Lubbock and Plainview.

To pick up a FedEx package from one of the stores, customers present their name and identification at the guest services desk. The package is then scanned with an official FedEx handheld scanner, to update tracking information, and the customer signs to confirm his or her receipt of the delivery. Packages remaining at the close of business will be scanned to remain in inventory for pickup at a later time, United said.

“With the popularity of online shopping, and porch piracy on the rise, people are looking for a safe alternative to the front door for their valuable deliveries,” Chris James, chief operations officer for The United Family stores, said in a statement. “As the holiday purchases begin to arrive, we want our new service to give United shoppers convenience and little peace of mind.”

United noted that it worked with FedEx on official delivery protocols to ensure package security and tracking. Each day, a trained team member will receive all FedEx packages and place them in a secure holding area behind the guest services counter. No other FedEx services, such as shipping or labels, will be available.

The United Family, based in Lubbock, operates 92 stores in north and west Texas and in New Mexico under the United Supermarkets, Market Street, Amigos, United Express and Albertsons Market banners.

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