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Jewel-Osco to Launch Ecommerce Program

Jewel-Osco, a banner of Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons Cos. that serves the Chicago metropolitan area, will have an ecommerce program in place by the end of summer, the Chicago Sun-Times has reported.

The banner will begin rolling out its delivery service in early summer and complete it by the end of the season, Doug Cygan, Jewel-Osco's new president, told the newspaper. The rollout marks the grocer's coming “full circle,” as it actually began as a horse-and-wagon grocery delivery service almost 120 years ago.

The news followed reports that Mariano's – a banner of Milwaukee-based Roundy's, which is owned by Cincinnati-based Kroger Co. – is expanding its own ecommerce program, bringing Kroger's ClickList click-and-collect service to select stores, one store at a time, beginning this summer. Chicago-area Mariano's, which already delivers via Instacart, arguably has been Jewel-Osco's primary direct rival since Safeway retired its Dominick's banner in late 2013.

Offering ecommerce is one of several initiatives Jewel-Osco is taking on to modernize and better compete in a grocery world more focused on dine-in options, fresher foods, and a more upscale, personalized shopping experience. Cygan also confirmed with the Sun-Times a drive-through pharmacy and “full-fledged drugstore” at Jewel-Osco's location in Chicago's Woodlawn neighborhood, a new store in the Old Town neighborhood with an upstairs bar and seating area for ordering food, and an initiative to look for new store sites while stepping up its existing store remodels from 18 this year to 25 next year.

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