retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Cincinnati Business Courier reports that Kroger is on the verge of a broad expansion of its home delivery service, which would build on its ClickList click-and-collect service that currently operates in more than 600 locations around the country.

Kroger has been skeptical about the delivery business, believing that a click-and-collect model is just as desired by customers and a lot easier to make profitable. However, it has long offered delivery in the Denver market, and recently began testing the use of Uber to make deliveries from Harris Teeter stores in the Washington, DC, market.
KC's View:
Just to put Kroger's digital footprint in context ... the retailer as some 2800 stores around the country, and just 600 of them offer ClickList. So it has a ways to go before it even gets close to saturation on that front. If Kroger behaves in typical fashion, it will move carefully into delivery, and when it does so, it will be with a certain confidence that it has broken the code.

While I am loathe to tell Kroger what to do - they've done just fine over the years without any advice from me - there is a part of me that thinks Kroger ought to be moving a little faster with this stuff. There is some level at which companies have to be careful not to be too careful.

There was a line that Michael Sansolo quoted in his Tuesday column from a Washington Post piece by Sally Jenkins, about how the UConn women's basketball team consistently succeeds because it doesn't do anything casually. I'm not saying that Kroger is being casual about its e-commerce commitment, but sometimes it is good to get up in the morning like your hair is on fire.

BTW ... it isn't just Amazon that Kroger has to think about. Walmart's ambitions in this arena also have been abundantly clear based on the degree to which it has opened its checkbook.