Albertsons offers a new refrigerated take on store pickup
Albertsons, along with many other grocers, has seen demand for its Drive & Go store pickup service increase significantly since the novel coronavirus began disrupting life in the U.S. earlier this year. The supermarket giant continues to look for ways to improve performance and is now piloting a temperature-controlled locker program that will expand the ways customers can get their orders in a contactless manner.
The company is kicking off the test in some Jewel-Osco locations in Chicago with plans to install the devices at some Safeway stores in the Bay Area later this year. Customers of those stores will see that a new “Pickup” option has been added to the two chains’ websites and apps when the lockers are in place. Those who go with the option will be prompted to choose a time window to pick up their orders. Once they place and pay for the order, customers will receive a unique code that they use to open the lockers and pick up their purchases.
The temperature-controlled lockers from Bell & Howell are modular and can be placed both inside and outside of grocers’ stores. The columns of lockers, according to a joint press release by Albertsons and the vendor, are modular and can be adjusted to meet the specific storage temperature of the orders placed by customers.
“Contactless PickUp through our state-of-the-art, temperature-controlled lockers makes it even easier to shop with us,” said Chris Rupp, Albertsons EVP and chief customer & digital officer, in a statement. “Whether customers choose to shop in our familiar neighborhood stores or through our websites and apps, we are ready to provide them with extraordinary service where and how they want to get their groceries. Our strategy to leverage technology and innovation to continue to grow our digital business is focused on creating products customers love that truly make their lives easier.”
Albertsons, like many other grocers, has seen online orders jump as COVID-19 has spread into markets where it operates stores. The company reported a 276 percent increase in digital sales during its fiscal first quarter and continues to expand its Drive Up & Go program to more stores operated by its various supermarket chains.
- Albertsons Companies unveils PickUp lockers as newest addition to e-Commerce lineup – Albertsons press release
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you see as the upsides and potential downsides of Albertsons’ use of temperature-controlled lockers for online orders? If successful, do you see the lockers as a means to supplement Albertsons’ existing pickup program or as an alternative where Drive Up & Go service is not logistically viable due to lack of lot space or other factors?