Kroger, Microsoft become partners

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Kroger, Microsoft become partners

The two companies pair up in an effort to create a shopping experience that they could not do alone

The Kroger Co. and Microsoft are joining forces to create an even more efficient way to grocery shop, according to Bloomberg.

Kroger announced that it has remodeled two stores to test out the new features, which include “digital shelves” that can show ads and change prices on the fly, along with a network of sensors that keep track of products and help speed shoppers through the aisles. Kroger could eventually roll out the cloud-based system it developed with Microsoft in all of its 2,780 supermarkets, according to Bloomberg.

“Together we can create something that, separately, we could not,” Kroger Chief Executive Officer Rodney McMullen said in a joint interview with Microsoft chief Satya Nadella.

According to Bloomberg, the alliance is the latest example of how big U.S. retailers are deploying data-rich technology to improve the often-tedious ritual of food shopping and keep pace with Inc., which is bent on grabbing a bigger share of the $860 billion U.S. food retail market. Kroger also hopes to sell the technology to other retailers, potentially opening up a new revenue stream with fatter profit margins than selling groceries.

Kroger isn’t the first big retailer to entrust valuable data and tasks to Microsoft’s Azure cloud service. Microsoft has also signed up the likes of Macy’s, Walmart and European grocer Ahold Delhaize, which would prefer not to pay Amazon for critical technology.

To read the Bloomberg article, click here.

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