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Kroger Teams With Drone Express For Grocery Delivery By Drone

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Supermarket chain Kroger Co. announced its partnership with Drone Express to offer grocery delivery through autonomous drones, as part of its efforts to provide customers with anything, anytime, anywhere. The companies are starting a pilot program this spring in the Midwest.

Drone Express, , a unit of TELEGRID Technologies, Inc., will commence test flights this week near the Kroger Marketplace in Centerville, Ohio. Licensed Drone Express pilots will manage the flights from an on-site trailer with additional off-site monitoring.

Customer deliveries are scheduled to begin later this spring, and a second pilot is scheduled to launch this summer at a Ralphs store in California.

According to America's largest grocery retailer, Drone Express technology allows package delivery to the location of a customer's smartphone not only to a street address. With this, the pilot will offer maximum flexibility to customers. Using Kroger.com/DroneDelivery, customers can place orders and have eligible orders delivered within as little as 15 minutes.

Kroger said it is designing bundled product offerings ideal for meeting customer needs within the current weight limits for drone delivery, which is about five pounds. The various planned bundles could be a baby care bundle with wipes and formula, a child wellness bundle with over-the-counter medications and fluids, and a S'mores bundle with graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate.

Kroger's Jody Kalmbach, group vice president of product experience, said, "Kroger's new drone delivery pilot is part of the evolution of our rapidly growing and innovative e-commerce business - which includes pickup, delivery, and ship and reached more than $10 billion in sales in 2020. The pilot reinforces the importance of flexibility and immediacy to customers, powered by modern, cost-effective, and efficient last-mile solutions."

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