Grocery retailer Albertsons Cos. is launching an online marketplace for food and wellness products.
The grocer’s new digital marketplace, dubbed as Albertsons Companies Marketplace, will allow vendors to list products for purchase on the platform, with the marketplace handling several front-end e-commerce functions, including search, product descriptions and ordering in exchange for a commission on each sale. The commission rate was not immediately available. Vendors selling on the marketplace will handle their own fulfillment and customer service inquiries on orders made with them.
The customer-facing launch is planned for early this summer, the company says. Vendors interested in selling through the marketplace can request an invite to join the platform.
The online marketplace will enable Albertsons, already the third-largest grocery store operator in the United States by sales, to gather more data about its customers’ purchasing habits in the food and wellness categories. Albertsons operates grocery stores in 35 states under 20 banners, including Safeway, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s and Vons.
“This offering takes our assortment size to the next level by making the aisle practically infinite,” says Narayan Iyengar, senior vice president of digital marketing and e-commerce at Albertsons. “This is another example of the rapid strides we are making on building digital capabilities that serve our customers and shows our determination to play a prominent role in the digital food and wellness eco-system.”
Iyengar is the former head of e-commerce at The Walt Disney Co. and joined Albertsons last year, charged with deploying new service and marketing models meant to attract more shoppers in stores and online.
Albertsons’ online marketplace initiative is its latest effort to build out e-commerce. Albertsons in September acquired meal-kit delivery company Plated.
In November, it began working with Instacart to offer same-day delivery services through more than 1,800 of its stores by mid-2018. Albertsons already offers a home delivery service it operates for groceries purchased online in some markets. Some stores also offer pickup services.
Additionally, Albertsons in January launched a platform called Albertsons Performance Media by Quotient Technology. It works with consumer brands on their digital advertising and in-store targeting efforts.
Albertsons is No. 157 in the Internet Retailer 2017 Top 500.