Kroger achieved its 46th consecutive quarter of positive identical supermarket sales growth and continues expanding its use of technology and its digital capabilities, the company said during its first quarter earnings conference call.
"One of the ways we continuously improve the shopping experience is by bringing new technology and digital capabilities to our business," said Cindy Holmes, Director of Investor Relations.
Here are key highlights of how Kroger is using digital retail technology:
- 84.51° is helping the company to continue to use data science for the benefit of its customers and to deliver a more personalized experience both in-store and online. "We expect 84.51° to be an innovation engine and a game changer for Kroger and our customers," said Holmes.
- Kroger's digital team has developed a popular mobile app that its customers use millions of times each week.
- In April, Kroger was one of the first food group retailers to release an app that is compatible with the Apple Watch.
- In June, Kroger reached a new milestone, according to Michael L. Ellis, President & Chief Operating Officer. "More than 2 billion digital coupons have been downloaded from our digital properties since we began offering digital coupons since 2009. It took four years to reach our first billion and only 15 months to reach our second billion and the third billion will take even less time."
- Also in June, Kroger's Cincinnati division began inviting local customers to try its order online, pick up in store solution. Ellis noted Kroger is learning it from Harris Teeter and has been beta testing for a few months. It is now available in two of its Cincinnati area stores to all customers. The Kroger Co. and Harris Teeter Supermarkets, Inc. merger was completed on January 28, 2014.
- Also in June, Vitacost helped Kroger launch a new natural and organic e-commerce website called King Soopers Live Naturally that is open to King Soopers customers who live in and around the Denver metro area. "The website, which utilizes Vitacost's technology platform and fulfillment network, creates an endless aisle experience with ship-to-home service for thousands of additional health foods, vitamins, minerals and supplements that are available in our Denver area stores today. We are excited to see the results of this new pilot program," said Ellis. "Increasingly, our customers are looking for more simple, convenient and relevant ways to shop, whether it's in-store, on our website or on their mobile devices," said Russ Dispense, King Soopers President. "It has never been easier for King Soopers customers to shop online for thousands of natural and organic products."