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Albertsons said yesterday that it has launched its digital marketplace, which “will offer customers the ability to discover more specialty food items alongside beauty and wellness products from a vast network of third-party sellers. With a focus on natural, organic, ethnic, and alternative products, Albertsons Cos. aims to provide a unique experience that showcases hard-to-find products.”

Plans for the online marketplace were first revealed last March. The platform is being powered by solutions provider Mirakl.

The announcement goes on: “The launch of the online marketplace is a central part of Albertsons Cos.’ initiative to accelerate its ability to address trending markets and offer hot new products. The data collected from the marketplace will help identify shifting consumer interests, regionally-specific shopping needs and new food trends. Albertsons Cos. now has the agility to identify new customer needs and rapidly respond by adding assortment from its network of sellers.

“For its network of third-party sellers, this new platform introduces an easy digital on-boarding experience which gives fast access to Albertsons Cos.' large customer base. This allows smaller businesses to showcase their products on a much wider scale than they could have achieved alone.”

The launch comes as Albertsons announced Q2 revenue of $14.2 billion, up1.4 percent from the same period a year earlier, on same-store sales that were up one percent and e-commerce sales that were up 113 percent.
KC's View:
Albertsons has been getting more aggressive in the e-commerce arena, with this initiative as well as its move to launch of a virtual store, O organics Market, that will allow customers in those two markets to more easily access those kinds of products.

This is all part of CEO Jim Donald’s goal,I think, to look beyond the “four wall” experience and think of the retailer as having “no walls.” I suspect that he would agree, though, that there is much work left to do.