Kroger challenging Publix with online delivery in Florida

Kroger to launch delivery service all over Florida without opening any physical stores. Photo courtesy CNBC

A shock wave of online shoppers has transitioned into buying groceries online since the onset of the pandemic. Big retailers such as Kroger and Publix make grocery shopping easy and more accessible through online purchasing, whether on the computer or mobile app.

In the state of Florida, Publix is the leading grocery retailer. However, Kroger, the country’s largest grocery store chain, is now challenging Publix by providing a fleet of delivery drivers who drop online grocery orders at people’s doors.

Cincinnati-based Kroger plans to roll out this national strategy through automated warehouses without opening a single grocery store. It recently announced that Florida would be their first state to roll out this blueprint as it develops a case study into becoming a more dominant e-commerce player in the grocery industry.

It has already invested about $55 million into warehouse construction and hired 900 employees across the state to kick start the operation. Kroger will deliver its grocery products to customers in chilled vans in the Florida heat, even to more rural areas. Kroger has nearly 2,800 stores across 35 states, but in Florida, it has only one store, which is near the Georgia border.

” I’m originally from Atlanta, so Kroger is everywhere. I get my groceries online every two weeks, so now that I’m in school in Florida, I can finally get my Kroger brand cookies that I like or certain select items that only Kroger carries,” said Paul Askew, an Allied Health major at Florida A&M University.

For Kroger, this plan will break into new markets with rivals such as Publix, Walmart and Amazon, which owns Whole Foods. This could also be a huge plus for college students providing more variety and convenience at their fingertips.

“I shop for my groceries online once a month because it’s faster and easier. I’m also able to save more money by shopping online, especially as a college student. I’ve shopped at both Kroger and Publix before, but I actually prefer Kroger, maybe because I’m from out of state and I grew up on Kroger. So I’m excited to see how Kroger’s new delivery will work,” said Aleah Milton, an education major at FAMU.

Florida’s growing population made it a great fit for Kroger to test its new grocery delivery service. As giant billboards continue to pop up around Florida, Kroger is informing Florida residents a new option is emerging.

“Ever since groceries could be delivered from online purchases, my mother usually orders them for me. I’m a Florida girl, so all I know is Publix, but it’s nice to know there will be a variety to choose from and compare prices and quality,” said Jayda Miller, an education major at FAMU.