Albertsons Cos. is extending its online grocery delivery partnership with Uber Eats to more than 2,000 of its stores.
San Francisco-based Uber Technologies said Tuesday that about 800 new Albertsons Cos. supermarkets in Connecticut, Indiana, New Hampshire, Utah, Vermont and Rhode Island now offer Uber Eats on-demand grocery delivery. Albertsons and Uber unveiled their partnership last July, with the Boise, Idaho-based grocer rolling out the service to 1,200 stores. Some Albertsons Cos. retail banners had previously offered Uber Eats delivery through selected locations.
The nation’s second-largest supermarket retailer, Albertsons operates 2,276 food and drug stores in 34 states and the District of Columbia under such banners as Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen, Carrs, Kings Food Markets and Balducci’s Food Lovers Market.
To support the service expansion, Uber said it has made Albertsons Cos. stores more accessible within the Uber Eats app. Customers now can order groceries for delivery through “express” lanes within the convenience section of the app, as well as by selecting stores being found in the app’s grocery category. Shoppers who sign up for an Uber One membership pay no delivery fee on all convenience orders from Albertsons Cos. “express” stores with $15 minimum purchase.
Plans call for the Uber Eats delivery service to incorporate Albertsons Cos. member pricing and Albertsons grocery promotions later this year, In addition, members of the retailer’s Just for U customer loyalty program — including under local banners like Albertsons for U and Safeway for U — will be able to link their account in the Uber Eats app to earn loyalty points on purchases.
“Our growing partnership with Uber Eats brings new convenience to shopping our stores,” Amber Kappa, vice president of business development and innovation for digital at Albertsons Cos., said in a statement. “Our goal is to make it easier for people to get their groceries so they can focus on the goodness of sharing a meal.”
Uber noted that the extended partnership with Albertsons continues its expansion in grocery and other retail categories. The company said that it has generated consistent growth since entering the U.S. online grocery delivery market in July 2020, adding more than 120,000 non-restaurant merchants to the platform — a 64% year-over-year increase — last year alone.
“Together with Albertsons, we’re evolving the ways we can get groceries — and so much more — to people’s doorsteps across the country,” according to Oskar Hjertonsson, head of grocery at Uber. “Since launching our U.S. grocery category in 2020, we have seen a huge appetite for easy, fast delivery from trusted retailers, and with this expanded partnership we’re excited to serve more people with even more choice and convenience on Uber Eats.”
For Albertsons, the expansion with Uber Eats reflects efforts to focus on third-party delivery as a way to accelerate the speed of service and provide customers with more choices. Last June, Albertsons announced plans to provide DoorDash last-mile delivery via nearly 2,000 stores, and this past February Albertsons Cos. banners Safeway, Vons, Acme Markets, Jewel-Osco, Tom Thumb and other launched DoorDash express grocery delivery — in 30 minutes or less — in more than 20 major cities. Albertsons also has partnered with Instacart since late 2017 and now provides Instacart delivery through most of its stores, adding Instacart Pickup service to selected locations starting in August 2021.
More than 90% of Albertsons Cos.’ nearly 2,300 stores now offer on-demand delivery of groceries and/or food through partners such as Instacart, DoorDash, Uber Eats and Shipt. The grocer discontinued use of its own home delivery truck fleet in 10 states in late February 2021.
Albertsons saw digital sales climb 5% for its 2021 fiscal year, with growth at 263% on a two-year stack. During the fiscal, the company reached its goal of offering Drive Up & Go curbside pickup service at more than 2,000 stores, serving 99% of households in the grocer’s market areas.