In its latest bid to compete with the ecommerce capabilities of Amazon and Walmart, the Kroger Co. is currently piloting a grocery service that can deliver items within as short a time as 30 minutes. Kroger Rush is now available at two stores in the grocer’s home market of Cincinnati, according to that city’s Business Courier.
The Oakley and Newport Marketplace stores can make the quick deliveries within a 3-mile radius, the business publication reported. Shoppers can order a range of quickly needed products, among them ready-to-eat and ready-to-heat items, produce, beverages, meat, dairy, bakery and center store offerings.
The cost of delivery is $5.95, with the first delivery free for new users. Shoppers must download the Kroger Rush app to use the service.
In the Courier article, Kroger Group VP of Corporate Affairs Jessica Adelman likened the new service to one offered by U.K. e-grocer Ocado, which has embarked on a partnership with the food retailer. Ocado Zoom, currently being piloted in London, delivers a limited assortment of items by moped within an hour.
Kroger now offers its pickup or delivery services across most of its market area.
When reached for comment by Progressive Grocer, company spokeswoman Kristal Howard noted: “Kroger is committed to redefining the customer experience through innovative solutions, services and products. Kroger Rush is one of several ongoing tests we have in market to further develop our portfolio of seamless customer experiences. … The pilot allows us to test and learn in a retail setting, gaining useful insights from both customers and associates.”
Kroger, which serves customers through a seamless digital shopping experience and 2,800 retail food stores under a variety of banner names, is No. 2 on PG’s 2019 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States. Walmart and Amazon are Nos. 1 and 10, respectively, on the list.