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Albertsons pilots in-store pickup service with Instacart

Albertsons and Instacart are partnering to offer in-store pickup.

Albertsons Cos. is expanding upon its proprietary in-store pickup service in a new partnership with on-demand delivery platform Instacart.

The leading grocery conglomerate is building on its nationwide delivery partnership with Instacart, which was initially launched in late 2017, with a new in-store pickup pilot. The two companies are now introducing a 40-store pickup test at Albertsons stores across the Dallas, Las Vegas, Houston, Denver, Phoenix, and Austin markets. Banners participating in the pilot include Albertsons, Tom Thumb, Randalls, Safeway, and Vons.

The new in-store pickup pilot with Instacart will operate in tandem with Albertsons’ in-house pickup service, Drive Up & Go. Albertsons is expanding its range of in-store pickup options following a substantial widening of the options it offers for on-demand delivery.

In addition to its longstanding on-demand delivery partnership with Instacart, more recently the company has entered agreements with a wide variety of online delivery providers. These include DoorDash.

The retailer also recently made its products available on a new online grocery shopping engine called Anycart. Customers choose from real-time inventory and place orders with Anycart, which then sends orders to the store, where they are fulfilled by store associates who pick, pack and deliver orders.

Beyond adding on-demand delivery options, Albertsons has been expanding the range of digital services it offers customers in the past few months. These include a partnership with the Fetch Rewards consumer loyalty and shopper rewards app to send its users personalized offers.

More recently, Albertsons began rolling out a subscription delivery service called FreshPass, a free deals & delivery app, and the new “Albertsons for U” shopper loyalty program. Available for $99 a year (or $12.99 per month), FreshPass offers unlimited free delivery on orders $30 or more; and in select markets, free two-hour grocery delivery and curbside pickup. Subscribers will also receive rewards that do not expire and exclusive culinary and wine experiences.

Meanwhile, the new deals & delivery app seamlessly integrates both the “Albertsons for U” loyalty program and the FreshPass subscription service. Shoppers can download by store name across Albertsons’ 20-plus banners, including Safeway, Albertsons, VONS and Jewel-Osco. Available for Apple and Android devices, the deals & delivery app also offers an integrated in-store experience. Smart features include a digital wallet and app coupon integration, list builders, and a pay-from-app feature.

The new loyalty program encompasses features of the grocer’s previous loyalty program, just for U, and existing members are automatically enrolled. The program carries the name of each respective banner store within Albertsons, depending on which store a customer shops most.

As of February 27, 2021, Albertsons Cos. operated 2,277 retail stores with 1,727 pharmacies, 400 associated fuel centers, 22 dedicated distribution centers and 20 manufacturing facilities. The company operates stores across 34 states and the District of Columbia with more than 20 banners including 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. 

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