Kroger is testing a new partnership where mini grocery popups will open inside Walgreens stores.
Kroger has announced a new partnership with Walgreens where the chain grocer will open new, compact grocery stores within the pharmacy over the next few months. According to a corporate press release from the retailers, Kroger will revamp 13 different Walgreens pharmacies to make room for mini-scale grocery outlets fully stocked with fresh produce, meat, dairy, and an expansive frozen section. Notably, these mini supermarkets—called Kroger Express—will also offer Home Chef meal kits for home cooks looking for a pre-prepped meal solution.
Executives of both brands are using the first 13 stores to see if shoppers respond well to the concept of a one-stop shop. The first Walgreens to test the concept is located in Florence, Kentucky, a location where Kroger is already in operation. The collaboration will bring more than 2,300 grocery products into Walgreens, mostly made up of Kroger's private-label brand, Simple Truth.
This isn't the first time a grocery chain has joined forces with non-food retailers—many shoppers were excited to hear of an ongoing partnership between Kohl's and Aldi back in March, where Kohl's shared sequestered building space with Aldi in order to attract more customers. Unlike this concept, however, Kroger's 4,000-square-foot grocery aisles are seamlessly integrated into Walgreens stores and focus on selling items that won't overlap with Walgreens' current offerings.
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Kroger has also expanded an existing relationship with the pharmacy to offer online order pickups at the pharmacy for grocery orders, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The Kroger umbrella of supermarkets has also previously tested meal kits in their supermarkets, so the choice to roll out Home Chef meal kits to 65 Walgreens stores in Chicago—in addition to Kroger Express markets—isn't all that surprising. Home Chef will launch three different unique meal kits for Walgreens' customers and will rotate recipes bi-weekly, with prices for a two-serving meal kit starting at $17.