CINCINNATI/DEERFIELD, Illinois (Covering Katy News) - Building on an exploratory pilot launched in October 2018, The Kroger Co. and Walgreens are testing a combined shopping experience that could potentially come to Texas in the years to come.
Thirty-five Walgreens stores in select cities outside of Texas will feature a selection of Kroger's popular brands like Simple Truth, America's largest natural and organic brand, and national brand products. The assortment will vary by store and can include fresh meat, produce and dairy, frozen foods, shelf-stable products and Home Chef meal solutions to provide customers with a fill-in grocery shopping experience at Walgreens. Most locations will feature up to 2,700 Kroger products, and other stores, on average, will offer 2,300 products.
Most of the Walgreens pilot stores will also provide customers with the convenience of Kroger Pickup, enabling shoppers to place a digital order on kroger.com or through the Kroger app for curbside pickup at a participating location.
The Knoxville expansion will also pilot a curated selection of Walgreens' owned-brand health and beauty products in 17 Kroger stores, also debuting in the fall. The destination will feature several categories, including beauty, personal care, over-the-counter medications and wellness. Walgreens Boots Alliance brands No7 and Soap & Glory will also be a part of the assortment.
"We continue to redefine the grocery customer experience and partner for customer value through our Restock Kroger transformation plan. Our growing relationship with Walgreens is just one more way Kroger is making life easier and better for even more customers – because everyone deserves to have affordable, easy-to-enjoy, fresh food," said Jeff Talbot, Kroger's vice president of new business development.
"Walgreens customers have responded very favorably to the Kroger Express pilot in Northern Kentucky. As a result, we're exploring more ways to offer customers an enhanced, more convenient shopping experience," said Richard Ashworth, Walgreens president of operations. "Working with Kroger, we're continuing to re-invent our customer offer to meet shoppers' evolving needs, which includes offering private-label grocery and health products at a great value, through an integrated omnichannel experience."
Launching the original pilot last year in Northern Kentucky allowed Kroger and Walgreens to test-and-learn in a retail setting and source customer feedback and insights, allowing the companies to create a more informed expansion decision. The pilot in Knoxville is a continuation of the test-and-learn approach, and both retailers will continue to assess customer response.