Supermarkets Heat Up e-Shopping Operations in California

NEW YORK–Following a period of depressed dot-com marketing, Southern California has once again become a hotbed for online grocers.

Supermarket retailer Albertson’s Tuesday announced the expansion of its online grocery ordering and shopping service,, to San Diego. Last week, bankrupt e-grocer Webvan said it had offered its former Southern California customers the opportunity to sign with e-shopping service Still to come is an online grocery service to be offered by Safeway, which operates more than 300 Vons supermarkets in Southern California.

Despite the recent failures of such e-grocery services as Kozmo, Streamline, HomeRuns and Webvan, Albertson’s feels it can turn a profit with its click-and-mortar strategy. In San Diego, the company plans to complete online orders from five fulfillment centers in addition to in-store pickup at its 38 supermarkets in San Diego County.

“We anticipate a strong response in San Diego,” said Charla Giles, Albertson’s vice president of San Diego area operations.