Building on an exploratory pilot launched in October 2018, The Kroger Co. and Walgreens are introducing a new test area for the retailers, featuring the expansion of Kroger Express and Kroger Pickup at select Walgreens stores, as well as the launch of Walgreens’ owned-brand health and beauty products in 17 Kroger stores in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Starting this fall, 35 Walgreens stores in the Knoxville area will feature a selection of Kroger’s Our Brands products 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, dairy, frozen foods, shelf-stable products and Home Chef meal solutions to provide customers with a fill-in grocery shopping experience. Most locations will feature a full Kroger Express assortment, with up to 2,700 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 also will be 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,” says Jeff Talbot, Kroger’s VP of new business development. “Expanding our pilot to Knoxville demonstrates the ongoing success and future potential of bringing together the best of Kroger’s food authority with Walgreens’ global expertise in health and beauty.”
“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,” says Richard Ashworth, Walgreens president of operations. “Working with Kroger, we’re continuing to reinvent 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, enabling 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, they said.