Kroger will soon be delivering groceries by drone in the Midwest.
The grocery retailer partnered with Drone Express to provide customers with anything, anywhere at any time.
"Kroger's new drone delivery pilot is part of the evolution of our rapidly growing and innovative e-commerce business. Which includes pickup, delivery, and ship and reached more than $10 billion in sales in 2020," said Jody Kalmbach, group vice president of product experience for Kroger. "The pilot reinforces the importance of flexibility and immediacy to customers, powered by modern, cost-effective, and efficient last-mile solutions. We're excited to test drone delivery and gain insights that will inform expansion plans as well as future customer solutions."
The pilot will offer customers flexibility to get their package delivered with Drone Express technology to the locations of the customer’s smartphone. Kroger is designing product offerings for each customer's needs with the current limits for drone delivery, which is around five pounds.
"Autonomous drones have unlimited potential to improve everyday life, and our technology opens the way to safe, secure, environmentally friendly deliveries for Kroger customers," said Beth Flippo, chief technology officer for TELEGRID. "The possibilities for customers are endless – we can enable Kroger customers to send chicken soup to a sick friend or get fast delivery of olive oil if they run out while cooking dinner."
Customer deliveries are scheduled to begin later this spring and a second pilot is scheduled to launch at a Ralphs store in California this summer.
"The launch of the pilot in Centerville is the culmination of months of meticulous research and development by Kroger and Drone Express to better serve and meet the needs of our customers," said Ethan Grob, Kroger's director of last mile strategy and product. "We look forward to progressing from test flights to customer deliveries this spring, introducing one more way for our customers to experience Kroger."