Kroger Ups Cross-Category Game via eComm Pact

In a statement that emphasized, “We are more than food,” the nation’s largest grocery store operator, Kroger, announced on Wednesday (April 6) that it was extending its 5-month-old digital partnership with Bed Bath & Beyond in what he calls a “multi-category omnichannel collaboration”.

Kicking off their new national pact, the two brands announced that they will be rolling out an e-commerce experience that will extend Kroger’s current home and baby care offerings, while leveraging the expertise and category-specific retailer recognition, to give customers a more consistent shopping experience.

“We are more than food,” Kroger CMO Stuart Aitken said in the press release, noting that the expanded collaboration was aimed at allowing customers to send new parents a stroller, diapers and a meal. prepared in a single digital transaction.

Aitken said the tie-up would “save our customers time and provide a positive shopping and gifting experience.”

The C in CX

As the focus on delivering a seamless customer experience (CX) across the entire consumer journey, from search to browse, cart, checkout and delivery, increases, it takes also increasingly another component, convenience. At a time when consumers are actively looking for bargains, and PYMNTS data has shown that cell phones are “the tool of choice” for a third of shoppers, the trend for step-saving simplicity is also at the rise.

“We are very pleased to expand our customer base through Kroger’s broad reach,” said John Hartmann, COO of Bed Bath & Beyond and president of its buybuy BABY unit, noting the product line, including many of its private label products. own brands, which will be available on the Kroger website and app.

Additionally, Hartman also hinted at the imminent release of an in-store or kiosk model that could bring the brand into some of the grocer’s 3,200 physical stores that are visited by 11 million people every day. .

“We are also well advanced in the planning and design of our Kroger in-store pilot program and look forward to its launch later this year,” said Hartmann.

Prior to that, the expanded digital partnership will include “several thousand items” curated by both Bed Bath & Beyond and buybuy BABY, including bedding, bath, kitchenware, storage and many other product categories. .

do new things

Admittedly, this grocery and homewares marketing mashup comes at an interesting and transitional time for retailers as well as the industry at large.

For its part, Kroger recently tweaked its loyalty and rewards program to help retain its increasingly cost-conscious customers.

“If you look at our connection with this [value-conscious] customer segment, it actually improved in the fourth quarter from a year earlier,” Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen said during the company’s fourth quarter earnings call last month.

Meanwhile, Bed Bath & Beyond has suffered its own upheaval, led by billionaire Chewy founder and Gamestop’s largest shareholder, Ryan Cohen, after its stock fell 75% from an all-time high in January 2021.

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