Kroger Launches Direct-to-Consumer Platform
Kroger announced Wednesday that it has launched Ship, a direct-to-consumer e-commerce platform. MarketWatch reports Ship will offer 4,500 products to start from Our Brands, along with more than 50,000 other grocery and household items. The program will offer free shipping for orders over $35. The new platform will kick off in four markets — Cincinnati, Houston, Louisville and Nashville — with plans for release in additional markets in the upcoming months.
"Kroger is building on our expansive logistics and fulfillment infrastructure to support the rapid rollout of Ship," said Frank Bruni, vice president of supply chain and procurement, in a statement to the press. "With the support of Our Brands, and Kroger's manufacturers and suppliers, our vision is to build a seamless e-commerce system that offers our customers an ever-growing number of products and allows Kroger to ship nationwide, serving America through food inspiration and uplift."
Total Retail's Take: Another move from Kroger to help it better compete with online retailers such as Amazon.com, as well as other big-box chains such as Walmart, Costco and Target. This marks the company's fourth e-commerce initiative in less than three months. Since Kroger's announcement last month that it would be partnering with globally renowned fashion designer Joe Mimran (responsible for launching Club Monaco), it makes sense for the brand to expand its e-commerce efforts as another distribution channel. Kroger Ship, like Target's Shipt program and the recent Amazon Prime benefits offered to Whole Foods customers, will be a way to entice customer loyalty and engagement by making 4,500 products available only to members.