Kroger offers customers online shopping

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Tina Yelton of Liberty Twp. picked up an online grocery order Thursday, June 11, 2015, at the Liberty Twp. Kroger Marketplace. Kroger is expanding its online shopping service to more customers. Staff video by Chelsey Levingston.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

In the grocery aisles of one Butler County Kroger, customers browsing the shelves might run into one of the store’s new order selectors, pushing a special, blue cart for stacking bags of groceries. On the selector’s wrist is a handheld computer device, used to check off items from an online grocery list.

These employees are filling orders for customers who have opted to ditch grocery aisles for their computer.

“I’m a working mom, so after a busy day I’m able just to pick up the groceries on the way home and then we can have dinner as a family,” said Tina Yelton, of Liberty Twp., as she sat in her vehicle waiting to pick up an online grocery order placed the night before.

She uses the service once or twice a week.

“You’re spending a lot of time at the grocery store you don’t need to spend,” Yelton said.

After several months of testing, Kroger has expanded its online shopping service to all customers of its Liberty Twp. Marketplace store. The store, located off Yankee Road, is the first Kroger-branded store to offer the service, but the Cincinnati-based retailer will be expanding online shopping to more stores in its Cincinnati/Dayton Division soon, said Kroger spokeswoman Patty Leesemann during a demonstration Thursday.

The Kroger Cincinnati/Dayton Division employs more than 20,000 people at 109 supermarkets in Greater Cincinnati, Dayton and Springfield.

Leesemann wouldn’t reveal future locations for the service, or how many customers have taken advantage of it so far, except to say “we’re encouraged by the response from our customers and the amount of feedback that they’ve provided. We continue to see sales and orders for online shopping grow as more customers learn about the service.”

While Kroger’s online option is new, grocery chain Harris Teeter, which completed a merger with Kroger last year, also offers it.

Kroger charges $4.95 for an online order, but the fee is waived for a Liberty Twp. customer’s first three orders.

“Customers are always looking for alternative ways to grocery shop, or to shop period, and we want to make our customers’ lives as easy as possible. Online shopping is the way to do it,” Leesemann said.

To order, go online to shopping, build a cart, and select a pick-up time and location.

A Kroger employee hand-picks items and stores them in proper temperature zones. A customer can pay for the purchase without leaving their car. Kroger employees load the bags in the vehicles.

Pick-up times are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week.