On my most recent visit to Cincinnati, I was able to visit the first-of-its-kind Kroger Express location at a Walgreens in Florence, Kentucky. 12 additional locations will follow in the Cincinnati area, opening early 2019, in an effort that is sure to blur the lines between traditional grocery and drug store formats.

Encompassing 2300 products in about 4,000 sq ft, less than a third of the traditional Walgreens footprint, you can find national brand grocery as well as Kroger Our Brands labels including the popular Simple Truth organic brand. You’ll find quick-stop products as well as cold storage for online grocery order pick-up and fresh produce assortment which elevates anything you’d find at a typical drug store. How did they select which 2300 products to offer? The selection was curated using customer data and insights from 84.51, Kroger’s data analytics and consumer intelligence subsidiary.

This latest shop-in-shop is an evolution of the partnership between Walgreens and Kroger which started in October of 2018 with Kroger’s ClickList pickup being offered at the same 13 locations. Also announced is a further partnership focused on having Kroger’s Home Chef meal kits at 65 Chicago-area Walgreens locations. So, if you like the idea of shopping online for groceries but still want to pick your tomatoes, you have that opportunity. You can utilize the Kroger app for ordering, select this Walgreens location for pickup, and walk inside to grab your produce while your groceries are loaded in your trunk [remember: you won’t care about picking your tomato in three years, but for now you want it, so here it is].

When two of the nation’s largest retailers get together, there’s a lot of opportunities. With Walgreen’s 10,000 locations and Kroger’s 2,800 locations, there’s much that can be gained with partnerships. It’s easy to imagine how Kroger’s footprint could expand through infill and quick-trip locations throughout the Walgreens footprint and it’s also possible to consider opportunities for Walgreens to impact the Kroger footprint.

Most importantly, this gives both companies a chance to address the continued evolution of customer demand (I want what I want when I want it) in a test-and-learn environment, making quick moves and adjusting based on the customer’s needs both now and in the future.


Rachel Elias Wein

Rachel Elias Wein is CEO & Founder of WeinPlus. Focused on the impact of consumer change on commercial real estate, Rachel serves as the principal strategic advisor for industry-leading owners and operators of commercial real estate. Additionally, Rachel is an independent director for Alpine Income Property Trust (NYSE: PINE) a net-lease retail REIT.

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