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5 surprising ways Kroger is changing stores in 2018

Kroger Co. is buying Home Chef, the country’s largest private meal kit company, in deal that could reach $700 million, according to the Cincinnati-based grocery chain.

The initial transaction price is $200 million and future payments of up to $500 million over five years are contingent on achieving certain sales goals, the company said. Kroger has a major presence in the region. The chain has approximately 6,000 workers in the Dayton area where they have invested over $160 million in new storing, remodels and fuel centers in the past 10 years, according to Tim Brown, president of Kroger’s Cincinnati/Dayton division.

» MUST-READ GROCERY NEWS: 11 questions answered about the future of Kroger

It’s not the only recent change that Kroger has made to transform the customer shopping experience. Here are five other things that Kroger has tried out in the past year:

1. No more waiting? Kroger looks to eliminate checkout lanes

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The Cincinnati-headquartered grocery chain will roll out its “Scan, Bag, Go” service to 400 stores in 2018, according to Business Insider. Shoppers can avoid long checkout lines by scanning barcodes of items they want to buy using a handheld scanner or through Kroger’s “Scan, Bag, Go” app on any smartphone. READ MORE

2. Kroger expands organic brand offerings

Cincinnati-headquartered Kroger, in partnership with Fair Trade USA, announced today that its Simple Truth brand will expand in 2018 to offer more Fair Trade Certified productsThe Simple Truth brand’s current portfolio of Fair Trade products spans multiple commodities, including coffee, cocoa, coconut, tea, sugar and agave. READ MORE

3. Kroger sells off convenience store business for $2.15B

Kroger has sold off its convenience store business unite to EG Group for approximately $2.15 billion. EG Group, a privately-held petrol forecourt convenience store retailer in the United Kingdom, agreed to purchase the chain form Kroger. The deal includes 784 stores operating across 18 states, including 66 franchise locations. READ MORE

4. Kroger to roll out digital aisle displays that connect to smartphones

Kroger is changing how customers will shop in stores with new digital aisle displays that connect and interact with smartphones. The Cincinnati-based grocery retailer is rolling out new technology called Kroger Edge in nearly 200 stores in 2018. The technology will be installed on store shelves where paper price tags currently hang. READ MORE

5. Kroger reportedly exploring other partnerships, acquisitions

Home Chef isn’t the first acquisition that Kroger has reportedly explored in the past year. Customers could expect more acquisitions to occur if reports are true. Kroger reportedly has conversations with Chinese e-commerce and technology company Alibaba earlier this year about a potential partnership.

They’ve also reportedly had conversations about a partnership with Overstock.com, and online retailer Boxed Wholesale allegedly rejected Kroger’s $400 million buyout offer in March. It’s clear Kroger is open to pursing new ventures with online companies. READ MORE

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