CINCINNATI—Kroger is expanding an exploratory pilot this fall that introduces Kroger Express to select Walgreens stores. In a press release, the grocer announced that it is building upon a successful pilot in Northern Kentucky, focusing on customer convenience and private-label offerings.
To do so, Kroger is bringing Our Brands products like Simple Trust and national brand products to 35 Walgreens stores in Tennessee. Some stores will feature fresh meat, produce and dairy, while others will have Home Chef meal solutions. Most locations will feature a full Kroger Express assortment, with as many as 2,700 products, and other stores, on average, will offer 2,300 products. Customers can also pick up their groceries at Walgreens, using Kroger’s click-and-collect service.
The partnership goes both ways: 17 Kroger stores in Knoxville, Tenn., will also feature Walgreens' owned-brand health and beauty products. This includes beauty, personal care, over-the-counter medications and wellness. In this way, Kroger will bring grocery into Walgreens, and Walgreens will expand Kroger’s health and beauty selection.
According to Nielsen data, health and beauty care sales at food, drug and mass stores grew 1.5% in 2018, while general merchandise overall declined 1.6%. Grocery Dive reports that Kroger will deem the effort successful if new “Express outlets drive engagement to its stores and e-commerce offerings.”