Kroger Expands $4 Generics From Test

Less than a month after Wal-Mart expanded its $4 generic prescription drug program, Kroger Co. launched one of its own in many divisions and banners. Kroger began offering 30-day supplies of more than 300 generic drugs for $4 in its Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, New Mexico, Nebraska, Indiana and Florida stores earlier this month. It had previously tested such a program in selected markets.

Cincinnati — Less than a month after Wal-Mart expanded its $4 generic prescription drug program, Kroger Co. here launched one of its own in many divisions and banners.

Kroger began offering 30-day supplies of more than 300 generic drugs for $4 in its Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, New Mexico, Nebraska, Indiana and Florida stores earlier this month. It had previously tested such a program in selected markets.

Wal-Mart's $4 generics program, introduced last year and expanded in late September, now includes more medicines in more categories. Fertility and prescription birth control drugs were also included at $9.

Kroger's program covers many of the same drugs as Wal-Mart's updated plan, and Kroger is also offering generic versions of birth control and fertility drugs for $9.

“I think a lot of stores in Kroger's core markets were already offering this plan on a price-match basis with competitors such as Wal-Mart,” said Jon Hauptman, a partner with the Barrington, Ill.-based retail consulting company Willard Bishop.

“It's possible that rather than acting hastily, Kroger wanted to see how far Wal-Mart was going to take it,” he said. Originally introduced in September 2006 in Florida, Wal-Mart's $4 plan went national before the year was up.

Kroger did not respond to SN's request for comment.