Burt Flickinger III

Kroger said Wednesday that it's buying Vitacost.com, an online seller of vitamins and other health-oriented products, for $280 million. Kroger said the acquisition would open up opportunities to sell its products online and compete with companies like Amazon.com and Wal-Mart. "The deal could be transformative for Kroger," said Burt Flickinger III, managing director at retail consulting firm Strategic Resource Group. Kroger's online retail options are now limited to King Scoopers in Denver and 154 Harris Teeter stores, primarily in the Southeast. Its Denver model has been a small-scale work in progress that wouldn't work nationwide, the company said. 

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