The Kroger Co. and Walgreens will expand their partnership to stores in Knoxville, Tenn. Beginning this fall, 35 Walgreens stores in the area will feature the store-within-a-store Kroger Express concept and Kroger Pickup, while 17 Kroger stores will launch Walgreens' private-brand health and beauty products.
This pilot is a continuation of a test that began in northern Kentucky in October and then expanded in December to include the Kroger Express concept as well as some stores in the Chicago area.
"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," said 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."
Most of the Walgreens locations will carry the full Kroger Express assortment, which has up to 2,700 products, while other stores will offer an average of 2,300 products. These include Kroger's Our Brands products, national brands, fresh meat and produce, and Home Chef meal solutions. The Kroger pickup component allows shoppers to place ecommerce orders from the Kroger website or through the Kroger app for pickup at a participating Walgreens.
The Kroger stores will carry Walgreens' own-brand products across several categories, including beauty, personal care, over-the-counter medications and wellness.
"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," said Richard Ashworth, Walgreens president of operations. "Working with Kroger, we're continuing to re-invent 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."
Cincinnati-based Kroger operates nearly 2,800 retail food stores under various banner names, employing nearly half a million associates. The retailer landed the No. 2 spot of Progressive Grocer's 2019 Super 50 list of top grocers.
Based in Deerfield, Ill., Walgreens operates about 9,800 drug stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, along with its omnichannel business, Walgreens.com. About 400 of its stores include a Healthcare Clinic or other provider retail clinic services.