Kroger Technology & Digital provides low-contact solutions for customers as they seek alternative ways to shop for groceries

Across the Kroger Family of Companies, every associate has played a part in keeping our stores open, clean and stocked for our customers – and safe for our associates – at a time when they needed us most. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kroger’s Technology & Digital team has focused on ensuring customers have access to the fresh food they need – no matter how they choose to shop with us – while also protecting their safety and the safety of our associates.


During this unprecedented time, Kroger experienced an increase in demand for its Pickup, Delivery and Ship services as customers turned to alternative ways to shop for groceries. Teams from Merchandising, Retail Operations, Marketing and Technology & Digital rallied around a clear but complex challenge: support the increased Pickup demand while maintaining safety for customers and associates in a rapidly evolving situation.


To support the higher volume of customer orders, Kroger introduced its first Pickup-only location in the Greater Cincinnati area by transforming the Mt. Carmel Kroger (store #305 — 4630 Aicholtz Road, Cincinnati, OH 45244) to a Grocery Pickup Center in late March. At the same time, the team rolled out expanding Pickup timeslot booking and added a ‘Leave at my door’ option on delivery orders to protect customers and Instacart drivers.


“With the significantly higher volume of Pickup orders, we knew our customers were looking for low-contact shopping solutions and the Pickup-only format enabled our team of associates to meet that demand,” said Mindy Rector, senior director, Supply Chain Product Experience. “It was amazing to see the combined team bring together our capabilities to maximize physical distancing best practices and contactless transactions that prioritized safety for everyone.”


In addition to increasing the ability to meet higher Pickup demand, the Technology & Digital team partnered with store teams and departments across the enterprise to offer customers contact-free payment solutions such as Scan, Bag, Go and Kroger Pay. Store teams also leveraged QueVision, a technology system that uses infrared sensors and predictive analytics, to monitor and support store capacity limits.


In April, Kroger’s Technology & Digital team also collaborated with partners across the business to enable the acceptance of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP/EBT) payments at all Pickup locations across the enterprise. This allows more customers the option of using Pickup during a time when demand for low-contact and convenient services remains high.


To learn more about how we’ve navigated the COVID-19 pandemic to keep our business open while ensuring customers and associates are safe, please download our Blueprint, found here.