Kroger eyes grocery expansion in Walgreens stores

Kroger is taking new steps to grow its business amid declining sales, with plans to sell grocery items in branded sections of Walgreens Boots Alliance, an opportunity billed as a one-stop shopping destination.

By early 2019, the first “Kroger Express” sections will open in 13 Walgreens stores located in Kentucky, close to the brand’s headquarters in Cincinnati, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news.

The sections -- which will take up about one-third of the average Walgreens store -- will include 4,000-square-foot displays of produce, Home Chef meal kits and “other products if customers take to them.”

Shares stayed mostly steady during premarket trading, rising less than one percent.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
KR THE KROGER CO. 55.62 -1.32 -2.32%

Like other grocers in the U.S., Kroger has struggled to compete with an influx of new competition, like low-cost brands including Aldi and the now Amazon-owned Whole Foods.

In the latest quarter, Kroger shares tumbled more than 9 percent after reporting lower-than-expected sales. And in June, the supermarket chain laid off about 1,500 employees and sold 14 of its store locations in the Raleigh-Durham area in North Carolina.

Kroger is scheduled to report third-quarter earnings on Thursday