NEW YORK,. Kroger Co is going overseas for the first time: China, to be specific.
The grocery chain, which is the largest in the US with nearly 2,800 locations, is partnering with e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd on a pilot test of an online store. It’s the latest digital effort by the brick-and-mortar grocer, which has spent the last year trying to reassure investors that it can compete with giants like Amazon.com Inc and Walmart Inc as they pour billions into operations.
Kroger will sell products from its natural and organic private label, Simple Truth, for the test in China, which will be run through Alibaba’s Tmall Global platform.
Simple Truth posted sales of more than US$2 billion (RM8.18 billion) in the most recent fiscal year. Grocers have invested to improve the quality of their private-label goods in recent years as customers increasingly turn away from legacy brands. The products are seen as key to locking in shoppers.
Kroger’s shares rose 1.8 per cent to US$30.43 at 3.04pm in New York. The stock has gained almost 11 per cent this year, rebounding since it was hammered last year in the aftermath of Amazon’s acquisition of organic grocer Whole Foods.