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03/30/2021

Albertsons Teams Up with Google to Become a Retailer ‘Fit for the Future’

Food and drug retailer Albertsons has partnered with Google in a multiyear agreement that aims to make shopping easier and more convenient by bringing together the grocer’s broad reach and Google’s capabilities.

Food and drug retailer Albertsons has partnered with Google in a multiyear agreement that aims to make shopping easier and more convenient by bringing together the grocer’s broad reach and Google’s capabilities.

The partnership exemplifies the expanding networks and capabilities of grocers as they meet growing demand for online shopping, including delivery and pick-up services. The two companies have been working together behind the scenes for years, according to the announcement, which debuted new shopping enhancements. 

Of these enhancements, Google Maps and Search are both integrated to help shoppers find what they need, while Google Pay is easier to use for shoppers. The partnership has also ventured into artificial intelligence, with Albertsons infusing Google Cloud AI technologies into its operations to create the world’s most predictive grocery engine, including Vision AI, Recommendations AI and Business Messages. Albertsons already debuted its use of Business Messages, enabling individuals to receive up-to-date information about Covid-19 vaccines at the company’s pharmacies.

“Albertsons Cos. is continuing to transform into a modern retailer fit for the future, and we are leading the industry forward by providing the easiest and most exciting shopping experience for our customers,” Chris Rupp, executive vice president and chief customer & digital officer at Albertsons Cos., said in a statement. “In bringing together Google’s technology expertise with our commitment to customer-centric innovation, we’re providing our customers with a superior shopping experience no matter how they choose to shop with us.”

The pair also plan more innovations, including shoppable maps with dynamic hyperlocal features, AI-powered conversational commerce and predictive grocery list building. The partnership aims to improve online shopping and pickup and delivery, with more information about online ordering directly from mobile search. The same feature will become available in Google Maps later this year.

“Albertsons Companies is leading the way in bringing innovative technologies to the grocery store digital and physical aisle,” Carrie Tharp, vice president of Retail and Consumer, Google Cloud, said in the announcement. “We’re proud to partner with Albertsons Companies to streamline processes and power innovative shopping experiences for customers. The unique strategic and technical collaboration at the heart of the Google and Albertsons partnership sets the stage for sustained post-pandemic transformation and momentum that will become clear to customers in both the near- and long-term.”

Albertsons operates stores in 34 states and the District of Columbia under 20 well-known brands, such as Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw's, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen and Carrs.

The partnership between Google and Albertsons is not Google’s only foray into the grocery space. Earlier this year, the tech giant announced a multiyear agreement with J.B. Hunt Transport Services, one of the largest transportation logistics companies with refrigerated transport, to collaborate on next-generation supply chain technology with Google Cloud. The partnership expects to have an impact on food retail delivery.