- Former Ahold USA CEO James McCann has joined last-mile company Deliv as an investor and member of its board of directors, according to a press release.
- McCann is an investor and advisor to several grocery tech startups, including Jyve, Flashfood and Takeoff Technologies, according to his LinkedIn page. He left his post at Ahold USA in 2016 following its merger with Delhaize. He has also worked in top-level positions at Carrefour in France and Tesco in Hungary.
- Based in Menlo Park, California, Deliv is a crowdsourced logistics platform that enables retailers to offer same day delivery and returns. It currently operates in 35 markets throughout 1,400 cities.
Bringing McCann onboard indicates a desire on the part of Deliv to expand its grocery service. The company ended its partnership with Walmart back in February, but that seemed to reflect operational difficulties rather than waning interest in the channel. Around the same time, Deliv launched a delivery partnership with Peapod.
McCann's history with Ahold Delhaize could promote the expansion of that tie-up. And his industry expertise and connections can no doubt help Deliv make inroads with other retailers. McCann also has a taste for investing in tech, which means he’s spent ample time exploring emerging innovations and vetting the ones that have promise.
Deliv has a few competitors offering ready-made logistics solutions. Shipt recently garnered the ranking of best online grocery delivery service from Consumer Reports and has made some notable key new-hires of its own, recently appointing a former Target exec as its new CEO earlier this year. Instacart, the leading end-to-end platform, continues to expand its pickup service, which is now available in more than 30 states with 25 retail partners.
As a dedicated last-mile firm, Deliv doesn't offer end-to-end service like Shipt and Instacart. But it can partner with other third-party firms, as it did with Jyve, the in-store merchandising company, last October. Under that arrangement, Jyve handles the in-store picking and packing, while Deliv handles the logistics. McCann is an investor and advisor in Jyve.
E-commerce fulfillment companies are racing into online grocery, which has grown slowly but is picking up pace. Research by IRI shows consumers are becoming more comfortable ordering boxes of cereal and fresh produce online. In the next few years, Nielsen estimates grocery e-commerce could become a $100 billion business.
A number of other retailers have made tech-focused hires, including Kroger’s recent promotion of several executives aimed at boosting its tech-driven Restock Kroger program. H-E-B strengthened its digital operations team with a new hire in August, while BJ’s hired a Lonely Planet exec for its new digital commerce role.