Walgreen and Kroger are bolstering their partnership by expanding their exploratory pilot of a branded Kroger Express grocery section within the drugstore chain.
Announced in October, this partnership was aimed at selling some Kroger products within 13 Walgreens stores. Now, Walgreens’s 13 test stores in Norther Kentucky will stock 2,300 Kroger products, including Kroger’s Home Chef meal kits and its organic Simple Truth bran, reported CNBC.
The news comes as pharmacies have been hit by declining sales of household products, and grocers are trying to tap new channels to compete against Whole Foods.
One Kroger Express store is currently operational in Florence, Kentucky, and 12 more will become operational by early next year.
Besides selling Kroger-branded products in Walgreen stores, the drug chain will also enable customers to place online orders from Kroger stores and then pick their orders from the pharmacy retailer’s outlets.
The two retailers announced the online order pickup facility in October.
Kroger also stocked its Home Chef kits in several Walgreen stores in Chicago. The meal kits will change recipes biweekly and three more new options will be offered in the test stores.
Kroger is investing $55m to establish the first customer fulfilment centre (Cfc) in Monroe, Ohio, which will have digital and robotic capabilities.
This investment is expected to create more than 410 new jobs. Construction of the first CFC is subject to securing state and local incentives.