Kroger, Walgreens expand pilot to new metro area

Walgreens and Kroger are building out their exploratory pilot they launched in October. The companies have added the Knoxville, Tenn., area as a new proving ground for Kroger Express and Kroger Pickup within Walgreens stores, as well as Walgreens own-brand health and beauty products in Kroger stores.

“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.”

In the fall 35 Knoxville-area Walgreens will begin offering a selection of Kroger private-label brands, including organic and natural brand Simple Truth. The assortment, which varies by store, can include fresh meat, produce, dairy, frozen foods, shelf-stable products and Home Chef meal kits with the aim of providing shoppers a fill-in grocery solution. Most of the stores will feature the full, up to 2,700-item Kroger Express assortment, with other stores offering roughly 2,300 products.

Additionally, 17 area Kroger locations will pilot a selection of Walgreens’ own-brand health and beauty products beginning in the fall. Brands include No7 and Soap & Glory, as well as owned brands in beauty, personal care, OTC and wellness categories.

“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 vice president 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.”