The Chicago Tribune reports that Albertsons-owned Jewel-Osco will launch a delivery offering next week. The story notes that “Jewel is handling order fulfillment and delivery itself - though Jewel shoppers will continue to have the option to use Instacart instead.”

According to the Tribune, “Most Chicago-area residents will have the option of ordering groceries online for delivery through Jewel-Osco’s new e-commerce department, according to the company. Orders will be shopped from 11 stores, covering a large swath of the Chicago area, and delivered for a fee ranging from 95 cents to $9.95 depending on the size of the order, time of day and window of time selected.”

The story also says that “Jewel hired 100 employees to staff its fledgling e-commerce department, most of whom will fulfill the orders and make the deliveries. The company also bought a fleet of about 60 delivery trucks fitted with compartments of varying temperatures to accommodate fresh food delivery.”

KC's View: Jewel-Osco has come to this a little late, at least for my taste, but I applaud them for trying to handle the delivery part of the equation in-house.

What seems to be clear is that Albertsons has begun to take seriously the predictions (by the Food Marketing Institute and Nielsen) that online grocery shopping will grow to 20 percent … or more … of all grocery spending by 2025. In Chicago, it is competing with Ahold Delhaize-owned Peapod, Meijer, Kroger-owned Mariano’s, and, of course, Amazon - all of which are offering e-commerce to varying degrees.

It would be malpractice not to get moving in this direction.