retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Cincinnati Enquirer has done an analysis of Kroger's online sales, and concluded that it "has done more business selling groceries online than Levi Strauss did selling blue jeans or Harley-Davidson did selling motorcycles."

While Kroger said that in its most recent quarter more than seven percent of sales were done online, it "stopped short of spelling out their total digital sales volume as it has taken off in 2020, growing at 127% in the last quarter."

The story goes on:

"An Enquirer analysis of Kroger's sales disclosures indicates Kroger's digital sales - groceries bought online for home delivery or for pickup in a parking lot – hit roughly $5.8 billion in the last 12 months – large enough to be a Fortune 500 company.  Further, the disclosures indicate Kroger's digital sales could top $7 billion this year."

"Kroger's strong digital business is a key contributor to this growth as the investments made to expand our digital ecosystem are resonating with customers," CEO Rodney McMullen told analysts.

KC's View:

That may be the understatement of the year, if the Enquirer analysis is accurate.

One of the reasons this is interesting to me is that Kroger is building distribution centers in places where it doesn't have stores … which suggests to me that it could decide to open a pure-play e-grocery business serving those markets.  After all, it has a ton of consumer data, and one of those markets, Florida, is filled with people who used to live elsewhere and may have shopped with a Kroger banner.  It could do some data mining, determine who and where those people are, and then offer them e-grocery services … becoming a competitor even in places where it doesn't have stores.

It isn't an unknown model.  After all, isn't that what Amazon has done?