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Kroger (KR) Expands Delivery Services, Partners With Mirakl

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The Kroger Co.’s (KR - Free Report) delivery services wing — Kroger Ship — partnered with Mirakl, a leading software platform enabling B2C and B2B digital marketplaces. Mirakl's best-in-class marketplace solution and marketplace offering of third-party sellers are likely to add steam to Kroger’s ship-to-home assortment.

Per sources, the tie up will enable addition of more than 50,000 items across multiple categories, including natural and organic, international food, specialty items, housewares and toys. The added marketplace products are expected to be launched by fall this year.

To better serve customers, Kroger Ship will offer an extended aisle of products, made available through marketplace partners. Customers can also make use of loyalty rewards like fuel points earned from certain eligible Kroger.com orders.

Omnichannel Initiatives Bode Well

The coronavirus pandemic has certainly bought about changes in the way customers prefer to shop. Digital marketplaces have become the necessary foundation for businesses to thrive and reach out at different levels across interest groups.

Kroger’s continued focus on strengthening omnichannel operations signify clearly that this retail biggie is making every effort to stay competitive and in tune with these altering and challenging times.

Markedly, the company is providing facilities like no-contact delivery option, low-contact pickup service and ship-to-home orders. It also waived pickup fees with no minimum purchase requirements and continued to expand contactless payment solutions like “Kroger Pay”.

Much of these developments were made after the company witnessed a sharp rise in demand for commodities, especially essential commodities, across both brick-&-mortar stores and digital channels during first-quarter fiscal 2020. Also, in the first three weeks of the second quarter, digital sales were up in triple digits.

Additionally, the company started utilizing Nuro’s fully autonomous, driverless vehicles for grocery delivery services. The company also started accepting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for pickup orders. Apart from these acquisitions of Home Chef, the U.S. meal-kit company, and partnership with U.K.-based robotics company, Ocado, have also boosted Kroger’s assortment line-up.

Wrapping it up, we expect Kroger to continue gaining from its well-woven strategies to boost digital operations. Shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company have rallied 19.7% in the past six months compared with the industry’s growth of 12.6%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

3 Stocks Looking Hot

SpartanNash Company (SPTN - Free Report) , a Zacks Rank #1 stock, has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 17.1%, on average.

Dollar General (DG - Free Report) , a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock, has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 16.9%, on average.

Sprouts Farmers Market (SFM - Free Report) has a long-term earnings growth rate of 9.2%. Currently, it sports a Zacks Rank #2.

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