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Kroger Fights Back Against Walmart And Now Amazon

Kroger Co. sign.

Facing stiff competition from the likes of Walmart and more recently Amazon, Kroger Co. is planning a number of new strategies to boost its fortunes in a more digitally oriented consumer marketplace, reports

The efforts will come in the wake of a price war that has been raging in 2017 between the Cincinnati-based grocery giant, which has more than 2,770 stores nationwide, and its two main rivals.

Kroger, like Walmart, has also cracked the whip on its suppliers recently. The company is fining suppliers $500 for every order that is more than two days late to any of its warehouses.

Later this week, Kroger will announce further plans during its Q3 conference call, but the company has already trimmed building and renovation plans.

Zacks Research is predicting Kroger will report about $360M in profits on sales of $27.3B for the quarter. That compares with $391M on sales of $26.6B a year earlier.

Kroger is rolling out its order-online-pickup-at-store service, called ClickList, which is now at more than 800 stores. By the end of 2017, that total will be 1,000 stores.

The company is also testing home delivery in various markets from about 150 stores. To provide that service, Kroger has partnered with West Chester-based Grocery Runners in the metro Cincinnati market, and Uber, Shipt and others elsewhere.

In 2017, the grocer started offering ready-to-cook meal kits for two, called Prep + Pared for $15 to $20. Kroger also opened Kitchen 1883, its first-ever restaurant concept. 

The company is also considering selling its chain of more than 780 convenience stores to focus on its core business. Such a sale might garner as much as $2B.