Supermarket chain Kroger is expanding tests of a buy-online-pick-up-at-curbside e-commerce service to include actual customers, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
Since September, the largest U.S. grocer has had employees using the service, which lets shoppers buy groceries online and then collect their bags at a pickup window without entering the store.
Kroger has now invited dozens of customers who are part of its loyalty program to try the service, the retailer confirmed.
The click-and-collect service is only being tested at a single store near Cincinnati, where Kroger is headquartered, though a spokesperson said it may be expanded soon to include a second area store. Kroger regularly pilots new technology in its Cincinnati area stores. That doesn’t guarantee that the chain will roll out the program widely; some tests, including a checkout system that automatically scans items, have been under test for years at only a few stores.
But in the case of this test, the program is modeled after a click-and-collect service that is already in use at 150 Harris Teeter stores. Kroger acquired that upscale supermarket chain for $2.5 billion last year. Kroger has been experimenting with an online home-delivery service at its King Soopers division in Denver for the past decade.