Kroger, the nation’s largest grocery chain, is expanding its online presence to better compete with Amazon. The company announced plans to launch an online grocery delivery service in select markets this fall. Kroger is also partnering with Microsoft to develop a new online grocery platform that will be available to Kroger’s customers in 2019.
The move comes as Amazon continues to make inroads into the grocery business. The online retailer recently acquired Whole Foods, and it has been experimenting with grocery delivery and pickup services. Kroger is clearly aiming to stay ahead of Amazon and maintain its position as the leading grocery chain in the United States.
Kroger’s online grocery delivery service will initially be available in select markets, including Cincinnati, Houston, and Louisville. The company plans to roll out the service to additional markets in the future. Kroger customers will be able to order groceries online and have them delivered to their homes.
Kroger is also partnering with Microsoft to develop a new online grocery platform. The platform will be based on Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing service and will be available to Kroger’s customers in 2019. Kroger and Microsoft will jointly invest $500 million in the project.
The partnership with Microsoft is part of Kroger’s larger effort to digitize its operations and better compete in the digital age. Kroger has been investing heavily in technology in recent years. The company has launched a mobile app, introduced self-checkout lanes, and started using robots to fulfill online orders.
Kroger’s expansion into online grocery delivery and partnership with Microsoft are two major initiatives that will help the company compete against Amazon and other online retailers. Kroger is clearly committed to remaining the leading grocery chain in the United States.