One of the Largest Retailers in the U.S. Turns to Drone Delivery

Kroger drone delivery 1 photo
Photo: Kroger
E-commerce keeps evolving at a staggering pace as large retail chains constantly look for ways to automate the process, expand and become more cost-effective. And drone delivery seems to tick all the boxes for yet another big grocery chain.
Kroger recently announced in a press release that started testing a grocery drone delivery service in Ohio. The drone delivery pilot is a collaboration with Drone Express, a division of Telegrid Technologies, and launched on May 3.

Customers will be able to place orders anywhere they want, not only to a street address, Kroger ensures. The drone will deliver based on the client’s smartphone location, whether they’re at the beach, in the park for a picnic, or barbequing at their own place.

The retailer will also offer bundle deals as long as they fall into the 5 pounds (2 kg) weight limit imposed for drone delivery. The special bundles will include packages like baby care products with wipes and formula, child wellness bundles with over-the-counter medications and fluids, S’mores bundles with marshmallows, chocolate, and crackers.

The drone delivery service promises to be all about immediacy and Kroger ensures deliveries will be made in as little as 15 minutes. But for now, the retailer only plans to run tests using licensed Drone Express pilots to control the flights.

The drone delivery pilot takes place in Centerville, Ohio and if all goes well, customer deliveries will begin later this spring. The Kroger drone delivery service might also expand to other areas in the U.S. as the company plans to run another pilot this summer in California.

Kroger is currently the second biggest retailer in the United States after Walmart and one of the largest in the world. It reached over $10 billion in sales in 2020, states Jody Kalmbach, Kroger vice president of product experience in the press release.
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About the author: Cristina Mircea
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Cristina’s always found writing more comfortable to do than speaking, which is why she chose print over broadcast media in college. When she’s not typing, she also loves riding non-motorized two-wheelers, going on hikes with her dog, and rocking her electric guitars.
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