The tie-ups in retail land keep getting weirder as Amazon’s growing presence forces veteran executives to think outside the box.
Case in point is Kroger’s deal announced Tuesday to sell food inside drugstore Walgreens (WBA). The 135-year old grocery store will hawk 2,300 products at 13 Walgreen’s stores in Kentucky by early next year. Dubbed Kroger Express, the concept will offer meal kits, dairy, meat, produce, frozen food and meal solutions.
It’s not unlike efforts by Walgreen’s rival CVS Health (CVS), which has expanded sections in its stores to include frozen food and fresh groceries. The drugstores are seeking to become a one-stop shopping destination as Amazon (AMZN) expands its food offerings online and brings the benefits of Prime to Whole Foods. Further by offering food, Walgreens and CVS Health become traffic-driving destinations that aren’t only visited to reload on deodorant.
“We’re pleased to continue working together to explore new concepts that expand product selection to provide a better shopping experience and greater value for our customers,” said Richard Ashworth, Walgreens president of operations.
Indeed the creativity is flowing all around in retail.
Discount retailer Target (TGT) in 2017 took a reported $75 million stake in online mattress company Casper. With online purchases of bedding on the rise thanks to the likes of Casper, Target hopped on the opportunity to get involved. Casper mattresses could now be found in many Target stores.
For its part, Kohl’s (KSS) now handles Amazon returns at more than 100 of its 1,158 stores. Kohl’s has explained that inviting Amazon into its stores isn’t a bad idea because of the traffic it drives.
Next up: Macy’s and JCPenney joining forces to test a cosmetics store concept in a former Sears location.
Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @BrianSozzi
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