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Supermarket giant taps Instacart for speedy deliveries

Albertsons Companies is the latest grocery retailer to embrace same-day delivery of online orders with a fast-growing start-up.

Albertsons, the nation's second-largest traditional grocery retailer, has signed an agreement with Instacart, the on-demand grocery delivery service, that will allow the retailer to offer same-day deliveries in as little as an hour.

Under the agreement, Instacart's delivery service is expected to be available in more than 1,800 of Albertsons' banners across the country by mid-2018. Albertsons's store brands include Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw's, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen and Carrs.

Amazon's recent purchase of Whole Foods Market has lit a fire under U.S. grocers — and fueled Instacart's growth. Since the Amazon/Whole Foods deal was completed, Instacart has added an array of grocers, including Ahold, H-E-B, Kroger, Publix and, most recently, Canada's Loblaw, to its customer base. Instacart has also expanded its partnership with Costco.

"Instacart's extensive delivery network combined with Albertsons Companies existing home delivery services and established, robust e-commerce offering creates a fantastic customer proposition," said Shane Sampson, chief marketing and merchandising officer, Albertsons Companies. "Customers can shop how, when and where they choose, with the convenient option of quick delivery straight to their doorsteps."

Earlier this year, Albertsons began rolling out same day delivery to its namesake banner and to Safeway. The company said its current home delivery network and digital programs will continue to serve its growing customer base in existing markets.

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