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Kroger online wine store makes debut

Delivery service slated to expand to more markets

The Kroger Co. has begun a soft launch of an online wine shopping and delivery service.

Dubbed Kroger Wine, the service offers a curated assortment of domestic and imported wine that can be delivered to a home or an office. It’s available to customers in 13 states and the District of Columbia across a range of Kroger Co. store banners, including Kroger, Ralphs, Fred Meyer, King Soopers, QFC, Smith’s Food and Drug, Fry’s and City Market.

The wine is sold in six- and 12-bottle cases. Customers can choose either red or white (including rosé) wine or a mix of red, white and/or rosé, as well as from 15 collections. Selections include wines from California, France, Italy, Spain, Australia and New Zealand. All wines come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Prices range from $69.99 to $99.99 for six bottles and $129.99 to $189.99 for 12 bottles. Per-bottle prices are listed at $10.67 to $16.67. Shoppers get free shipping for orders of $35 dollars or more.

“We’ve launched the service in a limited number of markets and are communicating directly with customers to inform them of this exciting new offering,” Kroger spokeswoman Kristal Howard said in a statement. “In the coming weeks and months, we’ll share more about our plans to roll this out to more of our customers in more locations.”

The site also provides wine customers with sommelier-assisted shopping. Kroger said it consults with a team of winemakers and a sommelier to taste each wine and share their suggestions. Their advice is found in “Flavor Notes” and “Sommelier Notes” near the descriptions of each bottle.

Kroger Wine also gives shoppers the option to join a wine club. In a special introductory offer, customers can get a 12-bottle case of “Kroger’s Best Wines,” a $216 value that includes award-winning wines from various regions around the world, for $8.33 per bottle and with free shipping. Participants select reds, whites or a mix of wine and, about every 13 weeks, will get another 12-bottle package delivered.

For the online store, Kroger has partnered with Drinks Holding Inc. The Los Angeles-based technology provider operates integrated, omnichannel wine programs for merchants, including sourcing, curation, compliance and fulfillment.

Drinks’ solution includes a proprietary e-commerce platform with online storefronts and personalization; dynamic, virtual store shelves that optimize the wine assortment for each shopper; and metrics that provide insight on how customers buy wine online. The company said it has warehouses around the country and works with wineries from every leading wine region around the globe.

“Our new partnership with Drinks to deliver wine through and demonstrates how we continue to test and learn with new partners who share our commitment to redefining the grocery customer experience,” Howard said.

States that Kroger Wine delivers to include California, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Online sales of alcohol are expected to surge along with the growth of online grocery shopping and delivery, and some grocery retailers have made beer and wine more readily available via e-commerce channels.

For example, Texas grocer H-E-B in July launched same-day delivery of beer and wine orders via its Favor e-commerce subsidiary, with plans to roll out the service to more than 30 cities. Last month, Midwestern supercenter chain Meijer expanded home delivery of beer and wine to Ohio, following up its launch of home delivery for beer, wine and spirits in Michigan in July 2017.

And last week, membership-based online grocer Thrive Market introduced a “clean” wine program. All the wines are priced at less than $18 per bottle and made from organic, biodynamic or sustainably farmed grapes sourced from small and midsize European and U.S. producers.

TAGS: Beverage
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