With an eye to coveting and keeping the omnichannel consumer, Albertsons has been making substantial investments in its Drive Up & Go curbside pickup program, microfulfillment centers and more. Last year, the Boise, Idaho-based company’s then CFO Robert Dimond identified Albertsons’ Drive Up & Go curbside pickup program as its “biggest growth” area. Today, Albertsons has expanded its Drive Up & Go program to cover 96% of its households with first-party pickup offerings, the company said. It also rolled out faster pickup options, with over 80% of its households now able to receive their Drive Up & orders in two hours

“We continue to see the benefits from our digital and omnichannel investments, including the ongoing expansion of Drive Up & Go and the opening of our first Midwest microfulfillment center,” said Albertsons Director and CEO Vivek Sankaran during its third-quarter 2021 earnings call, according to a Sentieo transcript. Third quarter 2021 digital sales increased 9% year over year and 234% on a two-year stacked basis, Sankaran added.

Why are omnichannel households so important to the future of grocery? They spend three times more than in-store-only shoppers, said Sankaran, who noted that Albertsons’ next priority is the acceleration of its digital and omnichannel capabilities.

“This digital transformation is designed to fuel our growth as we aim to drive increasing customer engagement, customer satisfaction and customer retention through an area of convenient shopping experiences,” Sankaran added.

In addition to expanding its Drive Up & Go store count, Albertsons also has been focused on faster pickup and delivery options. Through its third-party partnerships, it has accelerated the speed of delivery while reducing delivery cost per order. It has also invited customers to combine their delivery with an additional delivery from another retailer or restaurant in one trip through DoubleDash.