Following the recent launch of an exploratory programme, Kroger and Walgreens are piloting a new Kroger Express concept at selected Walgreens locations.
New store pilot provide shoppers with access to both brands
In October, Kroger and Walgreens announced they would partner on a new store pilot where customers will be able to shop for products and services from both retailers. Initially, the retailers selected 13 Walgreens locations in Northern Kentucky where customers could collect their Kroger online grocery orders and purchase Kroger’s private brand ranges.
Curated range of 2,300 products
The programme is being extended with the launch of Kroger Express. This is a dedicated food and grocery area offering a curated range of 2,300 products at the 13 pilot locations. The range has been selected using customer data and insights provided by Kroger’s data-science subsidiary, 84.51°. This includes Kroger’s Simple Truth private label products, Home Chef meal kits and diary, meat, produce, frozen and meal solutions. One location is currently trading with the additional sites expected to open early next year.
Home Chef Express meal kits introduced to Walgreens stores in Chicago
Kroger is also launching Home Chef Express meal kits in 65 Walgreens locations in Chicago. This new range was developed and introduced into the Kroger business earlier this year following the acquisition of Home Chef. This will provide the business with a volume benefit and an opportunity to test new ranges in urban locations.
Source: IGD Research
Enabling Kroger to reach shoppers in more urban locations
For Kroger, Walgreens’ network of almost 10,000 stores makes it an attractive partner to collaborate with. The drugstore retailer has secured highly convenient sites in many major US cities, potentially providing Kroger with access to new shoppers in urban locations. These are areas where Kroger is currently under-penetrated. The stores could be key in helping it grow its ecommerce business as the store locations will be close to where consumers work and live.
Enhancing the Walgreens grocery offer, enabling focus on health and wellness
Partnering with Kroger provides Walgreens with an opportunity to further differentiate the customer experience. Although it has a well-established private brands program, especially in beauty categories where it has optimised the Boots portfolio, it does not have the same depth of offer in grocery categories. Kroger’s expertise with fresh foods and private brands will bring a new dimension to the Walgreens food offer. This also enables the drugstore operator to focus on its areas of expertise in health, wellness and pharmacy. While it has developed a sophisticated food offer, including its ‘up market’ fresh food concept, there has been less development in this area over recent years compared to the healthcare side of the business.
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