Boise, ID – Albertsons will be launching a digital marketplace for small or new brands, and it could be ready for consumers this summer, according to a story reported by CNBC.
This occurs as more and more retailers turn to big data to help them guide their buying decisions. It also comes as grocers increasingly focus on the local or upstart brands that shoppers now often prefer, according to the report. But the emergence of so many new brands could make it difficult to determine which ones will be successful.
“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,” said Narayan Iyengar, SVP of digital marketing and ecommerce at Albertsons, according to CNBC.
The brands may be able to get shelf space at Albertsons if their products take off.
This is a logical step for the retailer, as it continues to ramp up its ecommerce offerings and technology, and bolster its masthead with key digital hires. Just two months ago the company launched Albertsons Performance Media platform, which works with brands to better target their ads. “With this capability, we aspire to deepen our digital relationships with our CPG vendor partners while also being more relevant to our digitally savvy customers,” Iyengar said at the time in a press release.
In November, the company announced it would roll out online grocery ordering and delivery at 1,800 of its stores by mid-2018 with technology provided by Instacart, as WholeFoods Magazine reported.
And in September the company acquired the meal kit company Plated, which helped it to advance a shared strategy to reinvent the way consumers discover, purchase, and experience food.
Analysts say the impetus for this new move into small brand delivery is Amazon’s push into grocery, after its acquisition of Whole Foods Market. The deal gave Amazon direct access to the data about upstart brands that Whole Foods has made its name on. But it hasn’t been a smooth transition. Earlier this week roughly 200 suppliers met with Whole Foods Market in Austin, TX, to clear the air amid growing tensions over merchandising costs and other changes that were in place before the Amazon acquisition, as reported here.
In other news, Albertsons’ private label organic product sales and its partnership with Instacart helped it deliver a good report on its quarterly earnings call, according to WholeFoods Magazine. Robert Miller, Albertsons chairman and CEO, told analysts during the conference call that 12-month sales of its O Organics private label line exceeded $1 billion for the first time. Overall, private label penetration increased by 62 basis points in the third quarter.
Miller also cited the company’s partnership with Instacart, as contributing to positive traffic in the first few weeks of the fourth quarter, leading the company to be optimistic about its prospects for the year ahead.