As the battle for the online grocery spend heats up, we continue our series of articles on the major players and their reach.  Last time we covered Walmart Online Grocery Pickup.  Today, we are focusing on Kroger.

To back up for a second, some of you may be wondering why we are focusing on reach.  To understand this, we need to go back to the consumer.  When comparing grocery to hard lines and attire consumers’ consideration is substantially lower and the basket size is considerably higher (10x+).  For grocery, consumers don’t want to hunt and peck for each item, instead preferring to buy full baskets of items.  Because of this, winning online grocery retailers will have to offer a full assortment (including product, meat, dairy and frozen) and be within reach of consumers.  While Amazon established a 100% reach early on by using national warehouses, the same is not possible in grocery without a massive physical presence.

Now, lets get back to Kroger.  Kroger is the second largest retailer in the US (second to Walmart) with over 3800 physical stores.  Until 2017, Kroger has been the envy of the industry for the last decade, delivering 52 consecutive quarters of same store growth.  Kroger has also been an early investor in online grocery.  It first got in the game in 2013, with the acquisition of Harris Teeter, an early player in click and collect.  It quickly followed with its own offering, ClickList, in 2014.  In 2017, Kroger announced that it launched its 1000th pickup location.

According to our research, Kroger is currently operating 1021 pickup locations in the United States.  A Kroger pickup location is within 30 miles of 45% of US consumers.  You can find a map of the covered areas below (blue denotes Kroger stores, red denotes Kroger banners ex Harris Teeter, while green denotes Harris Teeter).  Kroger is in the top 3 full basket online retailers in the US.  While this by no means guarantees success, it is not an easy position to replicate.

kroger-banners-HT-watermark

Our next article in this series will focus on Instacart.