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Kroger and Walgreens Explore Partnership

Brands combine products, pickup services for retail experiment

DEERFIELD, Ill., and CINCINNATI -- Kroger and Walgreens are collaborating on a pilot concept combining Kroger’s grocery and Walgreens’ pharmacy, health and beauty experience. The two retailers have selected 13 Walgreens drugstores in northern Kentucky, near Kroger’s Cincinnati headquarters, in which to pilot the format. The companies will conduct this pilot over the next several months, listening to customer feedback.

“This exciting collaboration aligns with Kroger’s vision of serving America through food inspiration and uplift,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and CEO. “This concept brings together the best of two great brands to rethink convenience and redefine the way America shops for food.”

Initially, Kroger and Deerfield, Ill.-based Walgreens will develop and test a shopping experience in which customers can access products and services from both companies. For instance, customers will be able to order Kroger grocery items online and through Grocery Pickup (previously known as ClickList) at participating Walgreens locations. Kroger’s Our Brands grocery items, including Simple Truth, will also be available in store at participating Walgreens locations.

“This innovative new concept is an opportunity to test and learn, as we determine how we can best work together to further elevate our customer offering,” said Stefano Pessina, executive vice chairman and CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. “We continue to evolve our offerings to meet the changing needs of our customers and provide a more differentiated shopping experience. We’ve been implementing new approaches to promotions, product selection and other areas to deliver greater value in our stores.”

The efforts add to Kroger's growing portfolio of retail experiments, including a newly launched signature fashion line and self-driving cars. Kroger also recently began selling private-label groceries in China through a partnership with online retailer Alibaba.

Kroger operates approximately 2,800 retail food stores under a variety of banner names nationwide. Walgreens operates approximately 9,800 drugstores with a presence in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Photo: Shutterstock

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