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09/15/2021

First Look: Kroger Launches 30-Minute Virtual Convenience Store

The Kroger Co. and Instacart have teamed up to launch Kroger Delivery Now, a new delivery service that offers fresh food, household essentials and snacks throughout the day, almost immediately.
Jamie Grill-Goodman
Senior Editor
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The Kroger Co. and Instacart have teamed up to launch Kroger Delivery Now, a new delivery service that offers fresh food, household essentials and snacks throughout the day, almost immediately.

The service is powered by a virtual convenience store that is fulfilled by the Kroger Family of Stores and provides customers items from Kroger in as fast as 30 minutes. By using Kroger's existing network of more than 2,700 stores, Kroger Delivery Now creates a first-of-its-kind virtual convenience experience that makes faster delivery possible. The service offers an assortment of 25,000 items and is available from early in the morning to late at night.

"Kroger Delivery Now is a differentiated solution in the e-commerce industry, not just the grocery sector," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO. "Our new service provides customers with one more way to shop with us and addresses the importance of convenience and immediacy. Operationally, this service reaches up to 50 million households and it's an expansion of our thriving e-commerce model that demonstrates strategic interplay among our assets, expansive store network, supply chain, and dedicated fulfillment centers and fleet, joined by Instacart's unrivaled fulfillment model and last-mile technology to provide our customers with anything, anytime, anywhere without compromise.

"Last year, Kroger achieved more than $10 billion in e-commerce sales, and we're committed to doubling both our digital sales and profitability rate by the end of 2023 and expect Kroger Delivery Now will help us reach that target," continued McMullen.

[See more: How Kroger’s Personalization Science Impacts Digital Carts]

Convenience continues to be one of the most popular categories on Instacart, with orders up more than 150% since May 2021. Demand for rapid delivery also continues to grow, with nearly 20% of customers selecting Priority Delivery at checkout today.

Instacart Launches the Convenience Hub

Instacart is also unveiling the Convenience Hub on the Instacart Marketplace, a new product experience that streamlines convenience shopping for customers. Through the new Convenience Hub, customers in nearly every major U.S. city can now shop for convenience essentials 24 hours a day, seven days a week with free Priority Delivery in as fast as 30 minutes for Instacart Express members on orders over $10.

"We're proud to expand our long-time, strategic partnership with Kroger and together unveil Kroger Delivery Now – an entirely new way for customers to access convenience delivery nationwide. Kroger Delivery Now, available only on Kroger.com and the Instacart Marketplace, reimagines the modern convenience store by leveraging the entire network of iconic Kroger Family of Stores brands to offer 30-minute delivery to customers for the first time nationwide," said Fidji Simo, Instacart CEO.

"Instacart is one of our strategic partners and their industry-leading scale and ingenuity complements Kroger's best-in-class assets, digital strategy, and expanding seamless ecosystem, helping enable us to continue growing our business," continued McMullen. "Kroger Delivery Now reinforces our commitment to leading with fresh and accelerating with digital in an environment of increased and sustained customer expectations for fresh food on demand. This service is truly a gamechanger and we're eager to continue leading the way by expanding our ecosystem and leveraging our complementary assets to deliver a seamless experience with our total network of assets, including enterprising and innovative last-mile solutions—today's true competitive horsepower—in the most scalable, sustainable, and profitable way to advance our business and create a consistent and rewarding customer experience whether they want groceries now or tomorrow."

The Kroger Family of Stores and Instacart first partnered in 2017 and today offer two-hour grocery delivery and now 30-minute delivery nationwide. The companies expanded their partnership in 2019 to include alcohol delivery, and today Instacart powers alcohol delivery from nearly 1,500 Kroger Family of Stores across 15 states. The companies expect to continue to partner and invest in new customer experiences to further enhance Kroger's e-commerce offering.

[See also: 2021 Holiday Retail Forecasts and Predictions]