The owner of supermarkets including Giant and Stop & Shop said it would acquire a majority stake in grocery delivery company Fresh Direct LLC, expanding its U.S. presence as online ordering has boomed during the coronavirus pandemic.
Netherlands-based Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize NV said Wednesday that the deal will accelerate its growth online and around New York, where FreshDirect mainly operates.
“Delivery, to me, is here to stay,” said Farhan Siddiqi, Ahold Delhaize’s chief digital officer. He added that New York is among the most important regions for e-commerce because of its huge population and high rates of online shopping.
Private-equity firm Centerbridge Partners will become a minority investor in FreshDirect, with a 20% stake. The companies didn’t disclose financial terms.
FreshDirect’s sales have risen as the pandemic has pushed more consumers to shop for groceries online and eat most of their meals at home. Many people are visiting stores less frequently, augmenting those trips with online purchases from companies including FreshDirect, Amazon.com Inc.’s Whole Foods Market chain or Instacart Inc.