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Ahold Delhaize USA yesterday announced "a new agreement with local commerce platform DoorDash to make an additional on-demand grocery delivery marketplace available to customers at each of its local omnichannel brands – Food Lion, Hannaford, Giant Food, The GIANT Company and Stop & Shop. Delivery from DoorDash is expected to be available to customers of all brands by March."

According to the announcement, "DoorDash is available in nearly all markets served by Ahold Delhaize USA brands, and the service is already live for most customers at Giant Food, The GIANT Company, Hannaford and Stop & Shop. Food Lion will pilot with DoorDash in February and expects to launch in its markets in March. Through the new partnership, the local brands of Ahold Delhaize USA will add to the 100,000+ non-restaurant stores already on DoorDash’s Marketplace and Drive platforms across North America."

JJ Fleeman, CEO, Ahold Delhaize USA, said in a prepared statement, “The speed and ease of DoorDash and its strong reputation for providing great customer service aligns with the priorities of each of our local brands. We look forward to delivering this new option for customers of our local brands – as well as new customers through DoorDash – and leveraging this partnership to enable our brands as they continue to drive omnichannel growth.”

And Tony Xu, CEO and Co-founder at DoorDash, said, “We’re excited to partner with Ahold Delhaize USA brands to support the growth of their digital channels and help them engage consumers in new ways. As consumers’ favorite local commerce platform, we look forward to expanding our East Coast selection and giving consumers more access to everything in their neighborhoods, including groceries, retail, flowers, food, and more."

KC's View:

I must admit that I chortled when I saw in the announcement that Ahold Delhaize USA described itself as a "leading omnichannel grocery retail group."

Really?  Leading who, exactly?

After all, this is a company that, in previous iterations, used to own the Peapod and FreshDirect brand, and seemed to have frittered away many of the early-mover advantages that it had in this space.

In some ways, Ahold Delhaize USA strikes me as the opposite of adaptive retail.  Fossilized retail, perhaps? (Too harsh?  Am I being overly influenced by the mediocre shopping experiences at my local Stop & Shop stores?)

Plus, don't Ahold Delhaize USA stores already work with Instacart?

Maybe I'm misinterpreting the notion of adaptive retail.  Maybe "adaptive" really means throwing lots of stuff against the wall and hoping that something, anything, sticks.

I don't argue with the idea that retailers - small and not-so-small - need to partner with outside companies to give themselves a technology lift.  It makes total sense.  

But where I have a problem is where it all seems tactical, and not at all strategic.  And again, that's where E-Grocery 3.0 considerations come in.   (See yesterday's Innovation Conversation with Tom Furphy.)