Kroger is set to retool around 20 to 30% of its 2,793 stores as part of its Restock Kroger campaign. The US giant will spend $9 billion in capital investments over the next three years, with the aim of boosting its operating margin by $400 million.
Kroger will revamp the stores with an emphasis on the self-checkout experience, while also expanding its Scan, Bag, Go initiative to 400 stores in 2018. This allows shoppers to grab a scanner (or download an app to their phone), scan items and “bag” them into their carts as they make their way around the store. The retailer will also continue building its Internet of Things sensor network, analytics and machine learning networks and complement these with robotics and artificial intelligence to “transform the customer experience”.
Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s Chairman and CEO says: “We understand that today’s marketplace is shifting rapidly. Kroger’s success has always depended on our ability to proactively address changes by focusing relentlessly on our customers. We have the scale, the data, physical assets and human connection to win. Combining our food expertise and data analytics uniquely positions Kroger to create new and highly-relevant customer experiences, delivered both digitally and in stores. Restock Kroger builds on our strengths and strategically repositions Kroger to accelerate our customer-centred efforts in order to create shareholder value.”
The move comes as the retailer considers selling more than 700 of its convenience stores, noting that these are “potentially of more value outside of the company than as part of Kroger”.