US retailer Kroger is set to launch a new drone grocery delivery pilot in partnership with TELEGRID Technologies division Drone Express.
In addition to street address, Drone Express technology will deliver packages to other locations including park, beach and more.
First test flights will be conducted at the Kroger Marketplace in Centerville, Ohio, starting from this week.
Licensed Drone Express pilots will manage the flights from an on-site trailer. Off-site monitoring will also be carried out.
The partners will commence customer deliveries later this spring. This summer, a second pilot will be introduced at a Ralphs store in California.
Kroger product experience group vice-president Jody Kalmbach said: “Kroger’s new drone delivery pilot is part of the evolution of our rapidly growing and innovative e-commerce business – which includes pickup, delivery, and ship and reached more than $10bn in sales in 2020.
“The pilot reinforces the importance of flexibility and immediacy to customers, powered by modern, cost-effective, and efficient last-mile solutions. We’re excited to test drone delivery and gain insights that will inform expansion plans as well as future customer solutions.”
Product offerings will be packaged to fulfil the current weight limits for drone delivery, which is approximately 5lb, while meeting customer needs.
Customers can place orders online, with eligible orders scheduled for delivery in 15 minutes.
In April this year, Kroger launched America’s first automated customer fulfilment centre (CFC), powered by e-commerce grocery technology provider Ocado.