Kroger launches grocery delivery service

Kroger launched a new delivery service called “Kroger Ship” on Wednesday, as part of its Restock Kroger initiative to redefine the customer experience and expand its digital footprint.

The service is launching in Cincinnati, Houston, Louisville, Kentucky and Nashville, Tennessee and is expected to serve more markets over the next few months, the company said.

Customers can receive free shipping to their doorstep on orders of more than $35 – otherwise shipping costs $4.99 per order. During the launch phase, shipping will be free to all customers with no minimum purchase required, along with a 15% discount on their order with a one-time-use promotional code.

Kroger Ship customers will be able to select from 4,500 private-label offerings called “Our Brands” products and more than 50,000 groceries and other household items, the company said.

“Along with staples and customer favorites, Kroger Ship will carry bulk and additional sizes, and focus on Our Brands, local and international food and flavors, specialty items, and health and wellness products,” Kroger Chief Digital Officer Yael Cosset said in a statement.

The company’s Restock Kroger initiative, announced in 2017, is a three-year, $9 billion plan to redefine the customer experience through its digital and technology units, including a focus on its ecommerce platform. When the strategy was unveiled last year, the company said it already delivers more than 3 billion personalized recommendations to customers annually. Kroger also said the strategy includes investing to avoid losing customers due to pricing.

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KR THE KROGER CO. 43.43 -1.22 -2.73%

The supermarket chain has 2,800 grocery stores, 1,250 curbside pickup locations and delivery service from 1,200 locations.

Shares of Kroger rose slightly in premarket trade on Wednesday after the news was announced.