Online grocer Spud teams up with Italian Centre Shop

Edmontonians can now order 200 Italian Centre items for next day delivery

Online grocer SPUD (Sustainable Produce Urban Delivery) has inked its first partnership with a grocer in Edmonton and is now delivering products from the three Italian Centre Shops in the city.

Edmontonians can now order 200 Italian Centre items, including deli fare, pantry staples and speciality grocery like pasta, olive oils, fig spread, pesto and chocolate for next day delivery. The product range will expand to 350 by Christmas and include Massimo's heat-and-eat pasta meals and ready-to-roll fresh pizza dough.

The deal allows the Italian Centre to expand its distribution without having to open new stores or purchase delivery trucks, says Corbin Bourree, SPUD’s managing director for Alberta.

READ: Spud gets a storefront

“It’s a great way for us to expand the products that we carry and the number of people who will now take a look at online grocery as an option, so we do see it as a win-win for both parties,” he says. “The Italian Centre is a well-known and loved retailer in the Edmonton community. In terms of being able to expand our offering it was a no-brainer to partner with them.”

The partnership “gives customers who can't physically make it to our stores a chance to eat good value, traditional Italian food,” adds Italian Centre Shops owner Teresa Spinelli, in a statement.

Until now, SPUD, which has been available in Edmonton since 2014 and offers about 3,000 products online, has worked solely with producers and farmers throughout Alberta. Adding Italian Centre “allows us to tap into some amazing products, specialty and imported items,” Bourree says.

READ: Longo’s debuts online grocery iPad app

SPUD started testing Italian Centre product delivery in October, promoting the option internally to its customer base.  Sales have tripled since the official launch on Nov. 24, with the delivery service now being promoted in-store.

“We’re really happy with where things are at but there’s lots of room to grow both in terms of filling orders for our customers and also expanding the people using the service,” Bourree says.

He notes that online grocery has about a 2% penetration rate in Canada compared with 3.5% in the U.S. and “we see this as a really great opportunity to continue to expand the market for online grocery.”

SPUD delivers in Edmonton between 3 and 9 p.m. Monday to Friday. Delivery is free for orders $35 and higher

Founded in 1997 in Vancouver, SPUD also serves Victoria and Calgary. SPUD delivery of Italian Centre products may also be expanded to Calgary, where the retailer has one store.

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