business news in context, analysis with attitude

With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  Stater Bros. said yesterday that it has made a deal to expand its "digital grocery presence with a retailer-branded and -controlled online shopping experience that will scale with its business."

“Now more than ever, our customers are looking for the convenience of shopping online,” said Pete Van Helden, CEO, Stater Bros. Markets, in a prepared statement.  “We see this as an opportunity to build stronger relationships with our shoppers through an eCommerce journey that truly embodies our brand’s promise of excellence in food and service. With the Mercatus platform, we’re excited to offer a wide range of services and options to make online shopping even more rewarding.”

The new e-commerce package is powered by Mercatus.

The announcement says that the "solution will include an online shopping site that’s fully responsive for optimized browsing on any device and a complete eCommerce mobile app. Customers will be able to shop the full range of Stater Bros. products, including popular prepared meals and customized selections like deli counter foods. Customers can choose from contactless curbside pickup or delivery, and will have the additional option to pay online with SNAP EBT or EBT Cash benefits."

I think it is fair to say that Stater Bros. has some catching up to do - I'm not sure that past leadership believed that e-grocery would catch on to the degree it has, and the pandemic probably hastened the epiphany.  But I am heartened by the degree to which the retailer and its solutions provider are emphasizing "retailer-branded and -controlled," because it means it is putting a priority on owning the experience in a way that builds the retail brand, as opposed to disintermediating it.