As retailers — such as grocers — are on the hunt for more data to help them make purchasing decisions, Albertsons plans to roll out a digital marketplace for small or nascent brands. The move comes as it’s not easy for retailers to pick out the winners from all the new brands that come to market — or for brands to make it onto the shelves of a large grocer, CNBC reported.
Narayan Iyengar, senior vice president of digital marketing and eCommerce at Albertsons, told CNBC, “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.”
The new marketplace could benefit both Albertsons and smaller brands. While brands could use the marketplace to help get shelf space in Albertsons’ stores, the grocer itself will be able to use data from the marketplace to gain insight into its customers.
For now, the marketplace is only open to suppliers that can pick and ship. In the future, the grocer might find partners to help with shipments.
The news comes a few months after Albertsons, one of the nation’s largest grocers, announced it would buy meal kit company Plated. According to news from CNBC, the Albertsons deal was the grocer’s first big strategic move since Amazon’s $13.7 billion deal to acquire Whole Foods Market earlier this year, which sent Kroger’s stock plummeting roughly 30 percent since the deal was announced.
“This transaction is the latest example of Albertsons meeting our customers wherever and however they like to shop,” said Bob Miller, chairman and CEO of Albertsons.
Grocery delivery startups attracted $1.4 billion in venture funding in 2016. And while just 23 percent of Americans buy groceries online, that share is expected to more than triple in under 10 years.