The Kroger Co. is launching a new direct-to-customer e-commerce platform. The online delivery service, Kroger Ship, will start out in four markets: Cincinnati, Houston, Louisville, and Nashville. Kroger plans to roll out the service to additional markets over the next few months.
During the first phase of Kroger Ship, customers can shop from a curated selection of 4,500 "Our Brands" private label products, which are not available anywhere else online, and more than 50,000 center-aisle groceries and household essentials that matter the most, influenced by 84.51° data and insights. The service adds to Kroger's delivery options already in place, including 1,250 curbside pickup locations and delivery service from 1,200 locations.
"Kroger Ship brings together the best of our digital, technology, logistics, 84.51°, merchandising, and Our Brands teams to deliver our customers convenient and curated food inspiration," said Yael Cosset, Kroger's chief digital officer. "Kroger's e-commerce platform expands our offering beyond the physical store to include even more products."
The service offers fast and free doorstep delivery by a package carrier on orders over $35, otherwise shipping is $4.99 per order. Ship customers will get promo codes and pricing deals along with the convenience of a set-and-save subscription model. During the launch phase, customers will receive free shipping—no minimum purchase required—and 15% off their order with a one-time-use promo code.
Along with staples and customer favorites, Kroger Ship will carry bulk and additional sizes, private labels, local and international food and flavors, specialty items, and health and wellness products.
"Kroger is building on our expansive logistics and fulfillment infrastructure to support the rapid rollout of Ship," said Frank Bruni, vice president of supply chain and procurement. "With the support of Our Brands and Kroger's manufacturers and suppliers, our vision is to build a seamless e-commerce system that offers our customers an ever-growing number of products and allows Kroger to ship nationwide, serving America through food inspiration and uplift."
"Kroger Ship is our next step in creating a seamless experience that allows our customers to shop when and how they want," said Cosset. "Our new service is just one more way we are redefining the customer experience as part of Restock Kroger, bringing more convenience and options to shoppers across America."
The move comes from Kroger at a time when customers are rapidly adopting new delivery options from competing retailers such as Walmart, Whole Foods, and Amazon.
'It is no longer a question of if a grocer should incorporate last-mile delivery – but when," notes Sylvain Perrier, president and CEO of Mercatus, " The decision for grocery retailers now is whether a homegrown solution or e-commerce partner will best suit their journey for ongoing digital growth and increased customer loyalty.”