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Albertsons partners with Google to drive tech innovation for local shopping

Boise-based Albertsons announced a new partnership with Google to add an array of new technology tools to ease grocery buying.

The two companies worked together for the past year, before formally announcing and rolling out the first pieces of the deal. They said will continue to work together in a multi-year partnership designed to further boost Albertsons Companies’ tech offerings.

Albertsons’ news release hypes the partnership as “creating a formidable nexus of retail savvy and trend-setting technology on a massive, omnichannel scale.”

[Albertsons announces it will start work on one of its planned stores]

Search, maps integration

Beyond the buzzwords, the company says it will allow it to more deeply integrate into Google services like search, Google Pay, Google Maps and more.

One of the first pieces of the partnership will allow customers to order grocery delivery from right within Google’s search products.

ALbertsons and Google search demonstration

With just a few clicks, users can choose their store, delivery method and see product information all within Google. Albertsons says the product will launch on Google Maps as well later this year.

Separately, Google said it started a trial with Kroger Co’s Fred Meyer in Portland that will allow for even deeper functionality, including alerts, location data sharing and more.

Albertsons says it hopes to build out shoppable maps, predictive grocery list building, and “AI-powered conversational commerce,” like audio chatbots.

“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,” Albertsons EVP Chris Rupp said. “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.”

More tech to come

Rupp told industry publication Progressive Grocer that the Google partnership kicked off last April with an innovation day. She told the publication the company is “just scratching the surface on using technology to make grocery shopping easier.” Rupp is a former Amazon executive who heads up the company’s technology initiatives.

Albertsons put technology at the center of much of its strategy in recent years under CEO Vivek Sankaran. As BoiseDev noted, the company is trialing robot grocery carts, launched a new payment system, launched a robot grocery kiosk, added nationwide pharmacy delivery, and even considered an Amazon Prime-like membership offering.

The company operates Safeway, Carrs, Vonsand Albertsons. It was founded in Boise in 1939.

Don Day - BoiseDev editor
Don is the founder and publisher of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow. Contact him at [email protected].

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