Walgreens delves deeper into groceries with ‘Kroger Express’ in-store shops

Walgreens and Kroger Co. are expanding their fledgling partnership.

In October, the two retailers announced a partnership to sell grocery items from Kroger private-label line Our Brands at 13 Walgreens test stores in Northern Kentucky, near Kroger's Cincinatti headquarters, and for customers to order Kroger grocery items online and pick up the goods at the test stores. The pilot is now being extended to include an initiative called “Kroger Express,” a branded section that will offer a curated assortment of 2,300 grocery products in the 13 Walgreens test stores.

The assortment will include Home Chef meal kits, national products and Kroger's Our Brands private label line. The products, which range from dairy and meat to produce and frozen items, will be selected using customer data and insights provided by Kroger subsidiary 84.51. The first store to feature the Kroger Express concept is open in Florence, Kentucky, with the remaining 12 pilot stores to come on board early next year.

“We are excited to enter the next phase of the pilot,” said Robert Clark, Kroger senior VP of merchandising. “The Kroger Express concept creates easy access to our most popular Our Brands products through a fill-in grocery shopping experience for Walgreens customers, and our Home Chef Express meal kits provide customers with an on-demand solution for tonight’s dinner.”

In addition, the two retailers announced that Walgreens has made Home Chef Express meal kits available in 65 Walgreens locations in the Chicago area.  During the pilot, Walgreens will offer three unique Home Chef Express meal kit options, with recipes rotating bi-weekly. (Kroger purchased Home Chef in spring 2018.)

“Customers have responded favorably to the retail meal kits at our Mariano’s stores in the market and other Kroger Family of Stores located in different cities,” Clark said. “The Walgreens expansion provides more Chicagoans convenient access to a quick, simple meal.”