As COVID-19 leads more customers to purchase groceries through the web, Stop & Shop owner Ahold Delhaize NV is putting more resources toward online shopping operations. The company owns the Peapod eCommerce grocery offering in the United States in addition to click-and collect offerings, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Chief Financial Officer Natalie Knight said in the report, “Covid was kind of a wake-up call for us.” The company opted to speed up the expansion of its eCommerce channels and connect online shopping with physical retail due to COVID-19, Knight said in the report.
The executive also noted, “My role as CFO is to make sure that we are rethinking capital allocation for omnichannel [capabilities].”
Ahold intends to have roughly 1,100 retail locations in the United States that have the ability for click-and-collect by the conclusion of 2020, which is higher than 765 on June 30. In addition, the retailer is increasing spending on hand-held shopping technology in addition to programs to assist shoppers in stores to pay while avoiding the cashier.
The firm has also turned its attention away from revamping brick-and-mortar locations and toward chances for growth in the long haul like its omnichannel operations.
eCommerce sales for the company comprised just 3.6 percent of the U.S. revenue of $27.5 billion in the first half of 2020. Even so, they are expanding fast and are higher than a 2.3 percent portion of U.S. revenue in the first half of last year.
The digital reshaping of the world of grocery is collaborative work — and one the company has long had a part of.
“I think when you look at Amazon, they’re learning the brick-and-mortar side and that it is a very tough, low-margin business,” Chief Digital Officer Farhan Siddiqi told PYMNTS in a previous interview. “We get the physical pretty well and we know how to run it, probably better than most of our competitors in that space. And we are looking at the people and the strengths we have now — and really trying to build muscle on the digital side.”