Grocery giant partners with Uber to expand home delivery
The Kroger Co. is testing a solution to solve “the last mile” of omnichannel retail — the post-purchase operations focused on getting merchandise into shoppers’ hands quickly and efficiently.
The supermarket giant bolstered its home shopping model in 2016, by adding more than 420 ClickList and ExpressLane locations, a move that now gives it more than 640 online ordering locations, Rodney McMullen, the chain’s chairman and CEO said in the company’s earnings call on March 2. ClickList is a service that enables shoppers to order online and pick up merchandise in-store.
Eager to streamline how shoppers can receive these orders, “We are also experimenting with ways to solve the last mile equation,” he said.
For Kroger, that means testing Uber deliveries in several locations.
Pending positive results, Kroger plans to expand this program later this year, enabling customers to “order through ClickList and choose to have their groceries delivered by a local Uber driver,” McMullen said, adding the company is working on other home delivery tests, as well. He did not give specifics about these programs.
Some industry observers are leery of the grocer’s partnership with Uber. This is mainly due to recent attention the livery service has received due to labor and wage discrepancies related to its “gig-economy” model — a concept that enables individuals to work day-to-day without a fixed contract, according to Fortune.
In the meantime, the grocer continues to learn from pilots and build its digital experiences.
“More and more customers are connecting digitally with Kroger,” he said. “We are leveraging refined customer insights from 84.51 [data analytics], as well as years of online shopping experience from both Vitacost.com and Harris Teeter to develop a sophisticated understanding of our cus-tomers’ behavior when shopping with us online, in store and both.”
Using this data, Kroger is making more accurate decisions about where to offer ClickList, “what are the right assortments and promotions to engage customers online, and how can we offer the quality and convenience online that customers’ have come to expect from a Kroger brick-and-mortar location,” McMullen said.
Burrito chain adds New Jersey location
New Jersey’s answer to Chipotle has signed a lease for another location in that state.
Bubbako’s Burritos, a made-to-order chain that got its start in the popular Jersey shore town of Point Pleasant, has signed a lease for a 1,900-sq.-ft. restaurant at Aldrich Plaza in Howell. Other tenants there include Bed, Bath & Beyond, Retro Fitness, and Boston Market.
“We were able to provide Bubbakoo’s Burritos with a location that offers exceptional visibility, signage, and presence,” said Kyle Farley, a leasing agent for Levin Management, which handles Aldrich Plaza.
Bubbako’s offers burrito-lovers more than a dozen protein choices including buffalo crispy chicken, barbecue pork, sweet chili shrimp, and grilled steak.
JLL names new West Coast leasing VPs
Jones Lang LaSalle has announced the hiring of two new vice presidents to handle leasing of third-party-managed retail properties in West Coast markets.
Jonathon LaChance joins JLL from the Lightstone Group, where he specialized in transitioning pure-play online retailers into the brick-and-mortar world. He served as director of leasing and brand curator at bio-nyc.com’s first location in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. As a senior leasing rep at Rouse, he was responsible for the redevelopment leasing of San Francisco Bay-area malls.
Bob Dishler returns to JLL from four years at GGP, where he leased assets in California, Idaho, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. He will oversee Rogue Valley Mall and new-to-portfolio assets, while Lachance will handle Salem Center in Oregon and the Palladio at Broadstone and Hilltop Mall in California.
JLL is the third-party property manager for more than 1,000 U.S. retail centers.