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Coborns discontinues grocery delivery service in Twin Cities

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MINNEAPOLIS – Coborn’s Inc., headquartered in St. Cloud, MN, announced that it will discontinue its CobornsDelivers home delivery service to customers in the Twin Cities, effective Aug. 15. A company spokesperson said Coborn’s wants to focus on growing its curbside pickup and limited home delivery service in markets where it has brick-and-mortar stores and it doesn’t operate any stores in the Twin Cities. CobornsDelivers operates as an e-commerce, warehouse-fulfillment model.

Coborn’s is selling its CobornsDelivers customer list to Cub Foods, now part of United Natural Foods Inc. Beginning Aug. 15, Coborn’s online customers in the Twin Cities will be redirected to shop.cub.com.

“Convenience is essential to many of our customers, more and more of which are turning to online ordering and having their groceries delivered to their home or office at a time that works within their demanding lives,” said Mike Stigers, executive vice president of fresh at UNFI and chief executive officer of Cub Foods. “We invite all CobornsDelivers customers to order the fresh, premier products they expect from Cub and schedule their delivery in as little as one hour.”

This home delivery agreement with Cub has fueled speculation that Coborn’s may have an interest in acquiring Cub Foods, which has 79 stores in Minnesota and Illinois. And UNFI has confirmed that Cub is up for sale.

“There are a lot of people interested in Cub but we won’t get close to who the buyer is until probably October,” Steve Spinner, UNFI’s chief executive officer and chairman, told The Produce News. “Hopefully, we’ll find a buyer who has a lot of love for Cub and will nurture it. This is a No. 1 market share battle.”

In December, Coborn’s purchased all eight Hornbacher’s grocery stores from SuperValu, which had been acquired in October by UNFI. Coborn’s, an employee-owned independent grocer, operates a total of 62 supermarkets in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North and South Dakota, under the Coborn’s, Hornbacher’s, Cash Wise, and Marketplace Foods banners.

“Coborn’s has always been a forward-thinking company, and our President and CEO Chris Coborn had tremendous vision for the future of grocery delivery in 2008 when we purchased and renamed early leader SimonDelivers in the Twin Cities,” said Emily Coborn, vice president of operations at Coborn’s Inc. “CobornsDelivers has been the grocery delivery gold standard in the Twin Cities metro for more than a decade, with our warehouse hub and dedicated driver service. We are incredibly proud to have helped a generation of Twin Cities shoppers get their grocery run totally done online. Now we look forward to bringing those innovations –- and the easier way of life online shopping can bring -– to our customers in our 62 store locations. And we know our Twin Cities customers will be well taken care of in the future by our friends at Cub.”

Coborn’s employs more than 9,000 people and nearly 200 of them work at the CobornsDelivers distribution facility in New Hope, MN. Coborns said many of them would transfer to others jobs within the company.