Wednesday, December 12, 2018


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An employee bags a customer's purchases at a Kroger Co. store in Peoria, Illinois.

Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images
An employee bags a customer's purchases at a Kroger Co. store in Peoria, Illinois.

Walgreens and Kroger are expanding their partnership by testing a branded Kroger Express grocery section inside the drugstore chain.

Amazon’s Whole Foods.

A Kroger Express is already operating in Florence, Kentucky, and the remaining 12 stores will be operational “early next year,” the companies said.

In addition to selling Kroger-branded products in stores, Walgreens will also allow customers to order online from the grocer and pick up the items at the pharmacy chain. The two companies originally announced the online order pickup in October.

The companies also announced on Tuesday that the grocery chain has stocked its Home Chef kits in dozens of the pharmacy’s Chicago locations. The “Express” meal kits will rotate recipes biweekly, with three unique options offered in participating stores.

Pharmacies and grocery stores have been searching for ways to beat out the competition. Kroger’s competitor Walmart has its own partnership with health insurer Anthem. CVS closed a merger with Aetna last week, although a federal judge might halt the integration of the two companies.

Walgreens is also reportedly looking to continue expanding into health care with a deal with health insurer Humana. The two companies currently have a partnership meant to serve seniors.

Shares of Walgreens and Kroger were each down 1.3 percent.

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