Kroger’s marketplace sets out to ‘deliver anything, anytime, anywhere’
Kroger has announced that it will add an online marketplace in the fall designed to allow third-parties to sell products via its website.
The nation’s largest supermarket operator plans to add sellers in complementary categories, including housewares, international foods, organic products and toys, to its Kroger Ship digital platform.
The grocer launched its Ship program in 2018 to deliver online orders of shelf-stable grocery products to consumers in and outside of markets where it operates stores. At the time, many saw the effort as an answer to Amazon.com’s Prime Pantry and Target’s Restock programs. Orders over $35 are free; $4.99 for smaller purchases. The retailer uses sales data and analysis from its 84.51° digital intelligence group.
“Our customers are increasingly turning to our e-commerce solutions provided at Kroger.com for their grocery and household essential needs,” said Jody Kalmbach, Kroger’s group vice president of product experience, in a statement. “To better serve our customers, we’re continuing to invest in technology that enables us to expand our digital services to deliver anything, anytime, anywhere.”
Kroger, like many other retailers deemed essential during the coronavirus pandemic, has seen online sales spike in recent months. The company reported in June that its first quarter digital sales increased 92 percent. At the time, the company also reported that digital sales for the second quarter were up significantly, including triple digit gains for the first three weeks of the period.
“We fundamentally believe that long-term trend will continue where people will continually depend more on e-commerce. We certainly have seen that being accelerated. We don’t think it will stay at the accelerated — at higher level where it is today permanently, but we do think fundamentally the growth has been accelerated and will be higher than where it started before COVID-19 and then grow from there,” said Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen on the June earnings call.
Kroger continues to be bullish on its partnership with Ocado to build and operate automated customer fulfillment centers. The exclusive U.S. deal, announced in 2018, is expected to come online early next year with the first warehouse in Monroe, OH. Kroger has announced nine locations for the centers in the Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Pacific Northwest, Southeast and Southwest regions.
- Kroger Ship to Integrate a Marketplace this Fall – The Kroger Co.
- Kroger Reports First Quarter 2020 Results and Provides Update on COVID-19 Response – The Kroger Co.
- The Kroger Co. CEO Rodney McMullen on Q1 2020 Results (Earnings Call Transcript) – Seeking Alpha
- Kroger Ship to take on Amazon’s Prime Pantry – RetailWire
- Ocado to automate Kroger warehouses in exclusive U.S. deal – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How will adding third-party sellers in complementary categories affect Kroger’s online business? What is your evaluation of Kroger’s online operations to date?