Take a look inside the first Walgreens-Kroger pilot store
When Walgreens and Kroger announced plans in October to collaborate on a pilot store format at 13 locations in northern Kentucky, the biggest question was what it might look like. The wait is over. Alongside news that the companies were expanding the partnership bringing the pilot to shoppers, the companies noted that the first of the stores currently is open in Florence, Ky.
The store — photos of which are above — features Kroger Express — an assortment of roughly 2,300 products that runs the gamut from national brands to Kroger’s private-label products and Home Chef meal kits. The store also includes a selection of fresh produce and fruit, as well as dairy and meat.
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Walgreens, Kroger expand pilot partnership
Walgreens and Kroger are expanding on their still-young partnership. The two companies are building on the exploratory pilot format they announced in October. The expansion will bring Kroger Express — a 2,300-product assortment that includes products from national brands, Kroger own brands products and Home Chef meal kits, as well as a selection of fruit, product, meat and dairy — to 13 Walgreens locations in Northern Kentucky.
“We are redefining the customer experience in a variety of ways through Restock Kroger including innovative partnerships like our test-and-learn pilot with Walgreens,” said Robert Clark, Kroger senior vice president of merchandising. “We are excited to enter the next phase of the pilot. The Kroger Express concept creates easy access to our most popular Our Brands products through a fill-in grocery shopping experience for Walgreens customers, and our Home Chef Express meal kits provide customers with an on-demand solution for tonight’s dinner.”
The first of the 13 stores currently is up-and-running in Florence, Ky., with the remaining 12 slated to open early next year, the companies said.
“We’re pleased to continue working together to explore new concepts that expand product selection to provide a better shopping experience and greater value for our customers,” said Richard Ashworth, Walgreens president of operations.
As the Kentucky pilot stores get off the ground, Chicago-area shoppers already are seeing some of the fruits of the partnership, with 65 Walgreens stores carrying Home Chef Express meal kits. Walgreens will offer three Home Chef Express meal kit options, rotating recipes on a bi-weekly basis during the pilot. Each meal serves two and starts at $8.50 per serving, the companies said.
“Customers have responded favorably to the retail meal kits at our Mariano’s stores in the market and other Kroger Family of Stores located in different cities,” Kroger’s Clark said. “The Walgreens expansion provides more Chicagoans convenient access to a quick, simple meal.”
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McKesson to relocate HQ to Las Colinas, Texas
McKesson’s corporate headquarters soon will be leaving the Bay Area. The company recently announced that effective April 1, 2019, its headquarters will relocate from San Francisco to Las Colinas, Texas.
McKesson said the move is in-line with its multiyear strategic growth initiative, through which it plans to optimize its operating and cost structures with the aim of generating roughly $300 million to $400 million in pretax gross savings annually.
“As part of our strategic growth initiative, we’ve developed a hub location strategy, co-locating people based on the type of work they do to improve teamwork, advance innovation and increase efficiency,” said Brian Tyler, McKesson president and COO. “Bringing employee groups together in key locations will make McKesson a more streamlined and agile company, complementing our investments and improving operating profit growth for the organization.”
John Hammergren, chairman and CEO of McKesson, said, “We are excited to strengthen our presence in Texas and make Las Colinas our official global headquarters. Gov. Abbott and the Irving/Las Colinas community have provided tremendous support since we opened our Las Colinas campus last April. Making this move will improve efficiency, collaboration and cost competitiveness, while providing an exceptional work environment for our employees.”
The Las Colinas campus has been a key hub for the company, with employees in the North Texas location carrying out such functions as operations, information technology, marketing and sales, finance and accounting, support, administration, purchasing and project management, McKesson said.
“I’m delighted McKesson, a Fortune 6 company, is making Texas the home of its new global headquarters,” said Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. “The company has a long record of success in our state. McKesson’s expansion is an example of the kind of high-quality companies and jobs Texas has attracted as a result of our focus on economic growth, and I am proud to welcome them to the Lone Star State.”
McKesson noted that it would continue to have a strong California presence following the relocation, maintaining more than 1,400 employees, largely in distribution operations and sales. The company recently opened a distribution center in Roseville, Calif., and McKesson Ventures, and its tech development team for its U.S. oncology network will remain in San Francisco.
“We are proud that McKesson has decided to make Irving/Las Colinas its official, corporate home,” said Irving Mayor Rick Stopfer. “Irving is an amazing city with talented, hard-working people and wonderful amenities. We’re delighted to have yet another Fortune 500 company make Irving their global headquarters.”
Tyler said, “We are taking great effort, care and consideration to make this transition as seamless as possible for our associates who will be affected by this transition,” Tyler said. “It is important to us that every employee is treated with dignity and respect, consistent with McKesson’s ICARE shared principles. San Francisco-based employees are being offered the opportunity to relocate to Las Colinas and other hub locations. We look forward to bringing even more of our team together in our new, world-class global headquarters.”
Interesting article on the relocation of the McKesson headquarters.