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Supervalu inks reseller pact with Instacart

Distributor eyes e-commerce services for independent grocers and others

Supervalu Inc. is looking to help independent supermarkets and other retailers get going with online grocery shopping and delivery.

Late yesterday, Supervalu unveiled a reseller pact with San Francisco-based grocery e-commerce specialist Instacart. The deal enables the food distributor and retailer to offer online shopping and on-demand delivery services to the 3,300-plus independent grocers it supplies as well as to stores in the more than 240 metropolitan areas where Instacart operates.

Supervalu noted that the agreement expands its professional services and digital capabilities, which in turn will help its retailer customers serve more consumers, more often — without point-of-sale integrations or extra labor costs and at a limited capital investment.

Through the relationship with Instacart, the distributor said it can offer independents and other retailers such benefits as contracted pricing, placement on, and e-commerce marketing expertise and support.

“Consumers today want the ability to shop for food and groceries anytime and anywhere,” said Tom Kraus, vice president of digital at Minneapolis-based Supervalu. “Instacart allows retailers to meet customers when and where they want to buy with delivery in as little as one hour.”

Instacart’s solution is designed as a turnkey platform for retailers to provide same-day delivery and store pickup of groceries. Through the Instacart website or mobile app, customers fill a virtual shopping cart with items from their local stores and designate a delivery or pickup time, which can be in as soon as an hour. Instacart personal shoppers hand-pick the items and deliver them to the customer’s door or prepare them for pickup.

Since launching in 2012, Instacart has partnered with leading food retailers across North America, including national and regional chains as well as local grocers.

"Instacart's success is driven by offering communities a same-day grocery delivery experience from the stores they love," said Nilam Ganenthiran, chief business officer for Instacart. "We are proud to offer our services to Supervalu’s independent retail stores to give customers a convenient, time-saving option to get the products they have come to rely on from their beloved neighborhood brands."

Supervalu said its e-commerce services include consulting, websites, mobile apps and loyalty programs, among other tools. The company’s retail network encompasses 3,323 stores supplied by its food distribution arm plus and 114 traditional supermarkets under the Cub Foods, Hornbacher’s and Shoppers banners.

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