Cardenas Markets Grows In The Digital Age

Changes in shopping habits driven by the COVID-19 pandemic are transforming the operating systems of supermarket chains. Cardenas Markets, for example, partnered with Instacart to respond to the growing demand for online grocery shopping and home delivery services.

Although Hispanic customers have been characterized by their preference to go in person to the store to make the purchase, supermarkets that serve the Latino community are experiencing increased use of e-commerce. Stores have quickly had to adapt to new platforms to stay competitive in the industry.

Adam Salgado, Chief Marketing Officer of Cardenas Markets, spoke with Abasto Magazine about how the Hispanic supermarket chain based in Ontario, California, is adapting and strengthening its electronic commerce platform in the face of the new normal imposed by the pandemic.

“Our interest in e-commerce really started by listening to the customer. We have received questions from customers if we are doing home delivery. If we offer curbside service, then it arose from a need to give the customer what they are looking for, our fresh and authentic products, reaching more people,” said Salgado.

The Hispanic supermarket chain operates 53 stores under the Cardenas banner and seven stores under the Cardenas Ranch Markets banner in California, Nevada, and Arizona.

In addition to their partnership with Instacart for grocery shopping and home delivery service, Salgado said that in all of their 60 supermarkets, they are also working with DoorDash and Uber Eats for home delivery of prepared meals from La Cocina restaurants.

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“We are welcoming the wave of e-commerce to give the customer what they are looking for with more accessibility,” said Salgado.

But this digital transformation did not happen overnight. According to Salgado, it was an uphill process, overcoming many challenges, mainly in the technical part because the language that Cardenas used in his catalogs and files had to be compatible with the Instacart system. “This was what took the longest to solve. It was a tedious process,” he stressed.

Instacart VP of Retail Andrew Nodes said in a statement that “We are proud to partner with Cardenas Markets to bring their incredible selection of fresh food to customers in just one hour. We are dedicated to supporting grocers like Cardenas Markets to ensure they can connect and serve their customers online now and in the future. ”

Regarding consumers, Salgado affirms that Hispanics are very recursive in the use of digital media and adapt quickly to new circumstances, such as the pandemic. He said they continue to work to improve the description of their products on Instacart and is confident that customers will return to stores to shop in person when circumstances allow.