The Kroger Co. is testing a pickup-only store in greater Cincinnati in response to higher demand for click-and-collect service during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
Launched yesterday, the dedicated pickup service is offered at the Kroger supermarket at 4630 Aicholtz Rd. in Mount Carmel, Ohio, east of Cincinnati. In-store shopping isn’t available at the location, as store associates are focused on fulfilling online grocery pickup orders, Kroger said.
To use the service, customers order groceries online as usual at kroger.com or via the Kroger mobile app and then select the Mount Carmel Kroger as their preferred pickup location. Pickup hours at the stores are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
Though customers can’t shop inside the Mount Carmel store, its pharmacy will remain open, and they can speak directly with health care staff or pick up prescriptions, according to Kroger.
“We greatly appreciate our customers’ understanding as we work tirelessly to serve the community during this unprecedented time. The pickup-only model is ideal for all customers, especially for senior and higher-risk shoppers,” Erin Rolfes, corporate affairs manager for Kroger’s Cincinnati-Dayton division, said in a statement. “Because of the ongoing increase in grocery products and services at this time, it’s also important for our customers to know they may experience limited inventory options and longer wait times than usual.”
Kroger said it continues to see rising demand for online pickup as customers seek alternative ways to shop for groceries amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The retailer didn’t say if other stores in its market areas would become pickup-only, but a company spokeswoman said the Mount Carmel marks the first test of the concept.
Nearby Kroger supermarkets will continue to offer in-store shopping and pickup and delivery services.
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