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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -, the online grocery service of Albertsons, Inc., said yesterday that it has expanded its online grocery service to serve Sacramento-area residents in 80 zip codes.

Customers began placing orders yesterday, with deliveries beginning today. With this expansion into Sacramento, now serves 10 major metropolitan areas in California, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Texas, and Pennsylvania -- the largest geographic reach of any online grocery provider in the United States.

To order, shoppers go to the Web site, register, and place their order for delivery or in-store pickup. Online orders placed by midnight are delivered by 10 a.m. the following day.

As an added convenience, online orders placed by 10 a.m. can be picked up at selected Albertsons locations after 5 p.m. the same day. A fee of $9.95 is charged for door-to-door delivery, and $4.95 for pickup at any Albertsons store in the Sacramento area.

" will provide shoppers with flexibility to complement their busy lifestyle," explained Donna Robbins, president of Albertsons' Northern California division. " accommodates even the most active families because our online shoppers can choose to have groceries delivered to their home or office within a prescheduled 90-minute window, or pick up their prepaid, prepacked groceries at a convenient Albertsons store."

A total of 20 neighborhood stores in the Sacramento area will offer the pickup service, which provides shoppers additional flexibility and is unique to Albertsons in the online grocery industry. Orders placed with are filled in existing Albertsons supermarkets, providing shoppers with the same full selection of fresh produce, meat, seafood, party trays, custom cakes, and dry grocery items, as well as the health and beauty products Albertsons shoppers enjoy in-store.

Online shoppers can also take advantage of the same weekly promotions available to in-store shoppers. Additionally, the company is using trained personal "eShoppers" to fill orders from existing stores. The eShoppers are trained to select items as if they are shopping for themselves, and they ensure that every item in a customer's order is accurate, packed carefully, and stored properly until it's in that customer's hands.

Albertsons is using what it refers to as "a smart, measured approach" to expanding its online service. The company created its own Web site and tied the Internet service to existing pricing and inventory systems. By using its existing store infrastructure, grocery expertise, and technology investments, Albertsons is able to quickly and easily expand to new markets.
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