TECHNOLOGY

Kroger expanding curbside pick-up

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

The nation’s largest supermarket retailer is increasing its delivery offerings for online orders.

Kroger Co. is expanding its partnership with on-demand delivery service Instacart. Kroger currently delivers from more than 872 stores across the country, and it offers 1,091 curbside pickup locations. It plans to add 500 new curbside pickup locations in 2018.

The decision to expand the service comes on the heels of Whole Foods Market’s announcement last month that it will offer free, two-hour delivery of natural and organic products through Amazon’s Prime Now service. The service debuted in Austin, Cincinnati, Dallas and Virginia Beach. Last week, Amazon expanded the program to Atlanta and San Francisco.

“The expansion of our Instacart partnership provides Kroger the opportunity to increase our delivery offerings even further,” said Yael Cosset, Kroger’s chief digital officer. “When you combine it with our successful curbside service, it will help us accelerate our e-commerce reach significantly.”

Currently, two-thirds of Kroger’s customers – more than 40 million households – have access to curbside pickup and/or delivery, but the supermarket giant wants more.

“Our goal is for these convenient services to be available to every customer,” said Cosset.

Both programs coincide with the company’s Restock Kroger program, which includes an accelerated commitment to digital and e-commerce efforts, a front-end transformation and an increased emphasis on it private-label brands. As the company focuses on its digital shopping experience, Kroger is adding solutions that will provide customers with quicker and easier access to personalized products, recipes, digital coupons, weekly ads, and smart shopping lists, among other services.

Kroger currently offers home delivery in 45 markets through Instacart and other delivery partners representing the following divisions: Atlanta; Central; Cincinnati; Columbus; Dallas; Dillons; Fred Meyer; Fry’s; Harris Teeter; Houston; King Soopers; Louisville; Mariano’s; Metro Market; Michigan; Mid-Atlantic; Nashville; Pic ‘n Save; Ralphs; QFC; and Smith’s.

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