Kroger is developing a New Drone Grocery Delivery Program
Many special occasions as well as celebrations that are ‘just because’ require certain items. For instance, there’s a new baby in neighborhood; a senior citizen who is under the weather; the kids want to make s’mores tonight. The Kroger Co. has created Drone Express, a division of TELEGRID Technologies, Inc., to test package delivery in a pilot program at the Kroger Marketplace in Centerville, OH, near the birthplace of aviation. The program is expected to begin in late spring 2021.
How it works:
The Drone Express delivery system offers customers an option to have their package delivered to wherever they and their smartphone are. The possibilities have unlimited potential, such as ordering a picnic delivered to a park; first aid bandages to a skate park; a baby care bundle with wipes and formula; over-the-counter medications and chicken soup for a sick friend; items you just realized that you are out of while cooking dinner; and enough marshmallows for a fire lit dessert.
Kroger’s goal of providing customers with anything, anytime, anywhere has lifted off the ground. “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,” said Jody Kalmback, Kroger’s group vice president of product experience.
Using Kroger.com/DroneDelivery, customers will place an order and have eligible orders (maximum of five pounds) delivered within as little as 15 minutes. Licensed Drone Express pilots will manage the deliveries from an on-site trailer with additional off-site monitoring.
Drone Express is demonstrating the importance of flexibility and immediacy to customers, powered by modern, cost-effective, and efficient solutions. “Autonomous drones have unlimited potential to improve everyday life, and our technology opens the way to safe, secure, environmentally friendly deliveries for Kroger customers,” said Beth Flippo, chief technology officer at TELEGRID.
The pilot program, launched in Centerville, took months of meticulous research and development, and Kroger is hopeful that the program will continue to progress and push the boundaries of delivery forward around the nation and the globe.