Kroger, the largest US grocery chain, made a big move to enhance their e-commerce offerings: teaming up with Ocado. Ocado is an e-commerce based supermarket, known for their automated technologies, including order-fulfilling robots. With fierce competition from retail leaders Walmart, which holds an estimated 21.5% of the grocery market in the US, and Amazon, who has acquired Whole Foods and launched a cashier-less convenience store, Kroger has been facing pressure to innovate.
The general reaction to the partnership has been positive. Immediately following the announcement, Kroger shares jumped 5.7 percent to $26.37, and according to Jennifer Bartashus, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, “this is definitely a warning shot that Kroger is serious about online retail and grocery delivery.”