Albertsons Cos. is upping the ante in online grocery fulfillment with a faster option for customers.
Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons said Wednesday that it has launched its new Flash grocery service, which enables shoppers to get their delivery and Drive Up & Go curbside pickup orders in as soon as 30 minutes. Flash is now available at more than 2,000 stores, including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme and Tom Thumb locations.
Customers access Flash pickup and delivery through the store banners’ websites or mobile apps. Orders can be up to 35 items but can vary by location, with some items not eligible for Flash delivery and a reduced delivery maximum for areas farther from the designated store.
Flash pickup orders can be collected at the selected store within 30 minutes, Albertsons said, adding that the window for Flash delivery, however, can extend to within 30 to 50 minutes.
Albertsons noted that Flash click-and-collect and delivery orders will “mirror in-store pricing.” Flash pickup carries a fee of $3.95 per order, while Flash delivery costs $11.95 per order. Members of Albertsons’ online subscription program FreshPass receive free Flash pickup service and a discounted Flash delivery fee of $2 per order.
“Shoppers today want fast pickup and delivery, and Albertsons is meeting this expectation with our new Flash service,” Stephen Menaquale, senior vice president of e-commerce and fulfillment at Albertsons Cos., said in a statement. “Whether you’re missing a key ingredient for tonight’s dinner, or need a healthy snack for your kid’s lunchbox, families can turn to Albertsons to quickly replenish their food and household staples.”
Alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, and certain frozen items and foods requiring extra preparation time aren’t eligible for Flash pickup and delivery, Albertsons reported. Operating hours for Flash service also vary by store.
The Flash service builds on Albertsons’ launch of the FreshPass customer benefits program in mid-August 2021. FreshPass brings members exclusive perks and unlimited free online grocery delivery for orders of $30 or more. Customers sign up for a $99 annual membership or a $12.99 monthly subscription. Free two-hour grocery delivery and Drive Up & Go also are available to FreshPass members in selected markets. Other perks include a $5 monthly credit for annual subscribers; 5% savings on O Organics, Open Nature and Signature Pet Care private-brand products; 2X reward points on Albertsons’ own brands; monthly exclusive Starbucks benefits; and a VIP customer-service phone line.
“We continue to deepen our digital connection and engagement with our customers, with our [Just for U] loyalty membership growing to over 35 million members, FreshPass enrollment increasing 85%, Drive Up & Go operating in 2,150 stores and providing two hour or less delivery in 80% of our store locations by year-end 2022,” Albertsons CEO Vivek Sankaran told shareholders during the company’s annual general meeting in early August. (Call transcript provided by AlphaSense.)
Overall, Albertsons Cos. operates 2,272 grocery stores—including 1,726 pharmacies, 1,332 in-store branded coffee shops and 401 fuel stations—under 24 retail banners in 34 states and the District of Columbia.