Walgreens, Kroger expand pilot partnership

Walgreens and Kroger are expanding on their still-young partnership. The two companies are building on the exploratory pilot format they announced in October. The expansion will bring Kroger Express — a 2,300-product assortment that includes products from national brands, Kroger own brands products and Home Chef meal kits, as well as a selection of fruit, product, meat and dairy — to 13 Walgreens locations in Northern Kentucky.

“We are redefining the customer experience in a variety of ways through Restock Kroger including innovative partnerships like our test-and-learn pilot with Walgreens,” said Robert Clark, Kroger senior vice president of merchandising. “We are excited to enter the next phase of the pilot. The Kroger Express concept creates easy access to our most popular Our Brands products through a fill-in grocery shopping experience for Walgreens customers, and our Home Chef Express meal kits provide customers with an on-demand solution for tonight’s dinner.”

The first of the 13 stores currently is up-and-running in Florence, Ky., with the remaining 12 slated to open early next year, the companies said.

“We’re pleased to continue working together to explore new concepts that expand product selection to provide a better shopping experience and greater value for our customers,” said Richard Ashworth, Walgreens president of operations.

As the Kentucky pilot stores get off the ground, Chicago-area shoppers already are seeing some of the fruits of the partnership, with 65 Walgreens stores carrying Home Chef Express meal kits. Walgreens will offer three Home Chef Express meal kit options, rotating recipes on a bi-weekly basis during the pilot. Each meal serves two and starts at $8.50 per serving, the companies said.

“Customers have responded favorably to the retail meal kits at our Mariano’s stores in the market and other Kroger Family of Stores located in different cities,” Kroger’s Clark said. “The Walgreens expansion provides more Chicagoans convenient access to a quick, simple meal.”