Kroger eyes more stand-alone Rx kiosks

CINCINNATI Within the parking lots of some of its existing stores, Kroger is expanding in a new direction, in search of a bigger share of the nation’s prescription market.

Kroger is appealing to local governments to add freestanding, drive-up pharmacy kiosks to at least two of its locations in Ohio and Virginia, according to news reports. If successful, the fledgling project could give the supermarket and pharmacy giant another, albeit modest, weapon in the battle for pharmacy market share.

The kiosks, planned for Kroger stores in Roanoke, Va., and Gahanna, Ohio, would operate as remote, stand-alone pharmacy dispensing outlets in the parking lot in front of the store, according to The Roanoke Times and ThisWeek community newspapers, which serve the central Ohio region. They would replace as many as a dozen parking spaces within a mid-lot island.

The kiosks would operate like a drive-through pharmacy. Customers could drive up to the kiosk, drop off prescriptions and receive prescription drugs from a pharmacy inside the Kroger supermarket via pneumatic tube.

Kroger operates a handful of the kiosks in locations around the United States where its stores can’t accommodate a traditional drive-through pharmacy, according to the news reports. Separately, Kroger said it will release its second-quarter results Sept. 14.

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