5 big changes Kroger is bringing to area stores

Cincinnati-based Kroger recently announced plans to revamp around 20 to 30 percent of its 2,793 stores.

As part of the “Restock Kroger” campaign, the grocery chain will try to change the customer experience at as many as 838 stores, according to the company. As a major local grocer, Kroger employs more than 8,100 associates in the Miami Valley.

Kroger plans to invest $9 billion over the next three years in the campaign. Below are five of the biggest changes the grocer will make.

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1. Changes coming to ClickList

ClickList, Kroger’s online shopping service, allows customers to shop online and pick up their order at the store will get a mobile-friendly update.

Kroger will create a “mobile point of sale” platform for ClickList. The mobile app or device will allow sales associates to sell items in store parking lots.

It will also allow the use of gift cards and “line busting” a concept that would allow sales associates to pay for an item immediately rather than waiting in line to pay in a store or parking lot.

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2. Expanding self-checkouts and ‘Scan, Bag, Go’

Kroger will be re-designing the front-end of its stores to maximize the customer experience.

The store will increase the number of self checkouts and will also dramatically expand its Scan, Bag, Go checkout option.

The Scan, Bag, Go checkout allows shoppers to check out using wireless hand-held scanners in aisles as they shop. The checkout option will be expanded to 20 stores this year and then to 400 stores in 2018, according to Kroger.

3. Stores getting reorganized

The grocery stores will also undergo a space optimization process. The process will include reorganizations of 20 to 30 percent of layouts and shelves at certain locations, according to Kroger.

The optimization will seek to make better space-planning decisions while examining disruption of products on shelves. Kroger will also try to boost the assortment of items it offers while improving the selection of items kept in-stock, according to the company.

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4. More to drink

As part of the Restock Kroger campaign, the grocer will look to expand in certain areas that have seen the most growth recently.

That could be good news for the craft beer and wine industry since beverages are one of the fastest growing grocery categories, according to Kroger.

Kroger will also focus on expanding its offerings in both the “snacking” and “pet” categories because of the intense growth potential in both areas, according to a report from the grocer.

5. Delivering groceries to more homes

Kroger wants to expand its home delivery service in 2018.

The delivery service has already been built to be scaled to meet customer demand, Kroger officials said on a recent investor conference call. It could be available in 200 locations by the end of the year, according to officials.

While Kroger will expand its ship-to-home grocery service, it will also try to widely expand the program’s visibility so that customers know it is available in the first place, officials said.

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