Kroger Considers Buying Online Wholesaler Boxed

Grocery chain Kroger is said to be currently considering buying online wholesaler Boxed. This was in answer to the consumers’ higher tendency to place food orders online and increased competition with Amazon.com Inc. The information came from a person familiar with the matter who chose to remain anonymous.

Outside a Kroger store with logo

The potential deal was spurred on while the New York-based start-up sought out funding. It was expected for the acquisition to have Boxed valued between $325 million and $500 million.

The rivalry in online retail kept on increasing as more companies try to overpower the other. Amazon’s $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods last year gave its rivals increased concern. This made them more frantic to counter Amazon’s efforts to take part of the U.S. grocery market.

Just last month, Target announced its decision to buy same-day delivery platform Shipt for $550 million.

Boxed is a start-up that sells bulk staples like toilet paper and pet food and delivers it to the shopper’s doorstep. It expects to receive other takeover offers from retailers beside Kroger during the incoming weeks.

A Kroger spokesperson said that the company does not directly comment or rumors or speculations. Boxed Chief Executive Chieh Huang was not available for immediate response.

500 Stores Are About To Ditch Cashiers

500 stores which include shops Walmart, Amazon and Kroger are exploring ways for consumers to shop without any cashier interaction.

Walmart is planning to expand its “Scan & Go” technology to another 100 locations across the U.S. The plan was announced on Tuesday, taking part of the growing trend of companies providing their customers the option to shop without interacting with any cashier. The execution is expected to happen at fewer than 200 stores by the end of 2018.

Amazon is no different seeing as it has been piloting a store without checkout lines near its Seattle headquarters. The store is known as Amazon Go.

The grocery giant Kroger is also working on its own digital shopping scanner recently introduced as “Scan, Bag, Go”. It will be applied to 400 stores of the grocery chain later this 2018, placing it ahead of Walmart.

“Scan, Bag, Go” works by simply scanning bar codes on items being purchased. This can be by using a handheld scanner or via Kroger’s smartphone app while walking around the store. There will be self-checkout kiosks waiting for the customers at the end of their shopping. Valid coupons will also be tallied at these kiosks while calculating the final total.

According to Kroger, customers will eventually be able to bypass the kiosks altogether and pay directly through the app.

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