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Kroger reportedly had development talks with Alibaba

Cincinnati-headquartered Kroger Co. reportedly had early business development talks with Chinese e-commerce and technology company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

Kroger has had discussion with Alibaba about working together and U.S. executives traveled to China, according to a report from Reuters. The conversations are at an initial stage, the news organization reported. Alibaba is an e-commerce site that sells consumer electronics, machinery, apparel, automobiles, motorcycles, beauty and personal care, health and entertainment products.

» TRENDING BUSINESS NEWS: Kroger reportedly looking to partner with Overstock.com

Kroger is making several moves to compete online after Amazon purchased Whole Foods last year and immediately lowered prices in stores. The New York Post reported the Cincinnati-based grocer may be eyeing a deal with Overstock.com, according to sources. Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne said last year that he plans to sell or reorganize the e-commerce business to focus on blockchain technology. Kroger did not comment on the possible deal.

» MUST-READ BUSINESS NEWS: Kroger to roll out digital aisle displays that connect to smartphones

Overstock.com is based in Utah, and launched in 1999. The online retailer sells everything from furniture, rugs, decor, clothing, kitchen supplies, jewelry and toys.

Online grocery shopping is making major gains, according to the Food Marketing Institute’s U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends 2017 report. The number of shoppers buying some of their groceries online jumped to 11 percent in the first quarter compared to 5 percent in 2016, according to the report.

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