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Albertsons invites smaller brands to sell on its digital marketplace

A supermarket giant is giving its customers direct access to merchandise from smaller, less accessible brands.

Albertsons Companies is opening its digital marketplace — a service that enables customers to purchase items online directly from manufacturers — to outside vendors. The service will give brands national exposure, as well as access to a platform to manage sales and customer service, according to the company’s website.

The marketplace is open to any vendors that have the capability to pick and ship on their merchandise. Over time, the grocery retailer might work with partners to help handle the vendor shipment, according to CNBC.

In the report, Narayan Iyengar, senior VP of digital marketing and e-commerce at Albertsons, said, “If you're a small player with a very good product or a big consumer packaged goods company with a small unit, you will struggle to get the attention of some of our larger banners.”

However, the program changes the game for both smaller companies and Albertsons. The platform gives Albertsons access to sales data that not only reveals customer sales trends, it also identifies well-performing merchandise, details that could guide future buying decisions.

Meanwhile, suppliers can leverage the sales data as a means of gaining shelf space in Albertsons' stores, according to CNBC.

This is Albertsons’ latest move to bolster its e-commerce offering. The supermarket giant launched Albertsons Performance Media, a digital media capability designed to improve the digital advertising performance of its CPG brand partners.

The company also recently joined forces with driver service Instacart, a move to offer same-day delivery of online orders to customers in as little as an hour. The grocer plans to make the service available in more than 1,800 of Albertsons’ banners across the country by mid-2018.

Albertsons was also the first national grocery retailer to acquire a prepared-meals company. The supermarket chain acquired online meal company Plated last fall.
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