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A Dutch grocery giant is buying FreshDirect

November 19, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Ahold Delhaize, the Netherlands-based owner of US supermarket chains Stop & Shop, Giant and Food Lion, is buying the online grocery service FreshDirect as demand for online grocery shopping accelerates in the pandemic.

New York (CNN Business)Ahold Delhaize, the Netherlands-based owner of US supermarket chains Stop & Shop, Giant and Food Lion, is buying the online grocery service FreshDirect as demand for online grocery shopping accelerates in the pandemic.

It said that FreshDirect will help it reach new customers and drive sales in the lucrative New York market.

FreshDirect said gaining access to the Dutch company's size and scale will allow it to grow.

Leading grocers such as Kroger (KR), Albertsons, Publix and others have logged booming sales in stores and online as consumers eat more food at home with restaurants shuttered and many people skittish about going out for dinner.

Ahold's US sales at stores open for at least one year grew 12. 4%, excluding gasoline, during its most recent quarter compared with the same stretch last year, the company said earlier this month.

Shopping for groceries online had been slower to develop in the United States than buying electronics, clothing and other goods, but the coronavirus has prompted a surge of new customers with shoppers looking to limit their trips to physical stores.

Brick-and-mortar grocers and online delivery services have strained to keep pace with demand, leading to canceled orders and lengthy delays for customers.

FreshDirect was not staffed to handle the flood of orders from existing customers and shoppers when the pandemic first hit, CEO David McInerney told CNN Business in an interview last month.

"The barriers to online grocery got absolutely obliterated" in March, he said.

"We're expecting a really, really busy winter, and it's going to be filled with a lot of first time customers getting acclimated to online food buying," McInerney said last month.

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