The Kroger Co. announced on Monday that it is partners with Microsoft Corp. for a collaboration set to redefine the customer experience using Kroger Technology products powered by Microsoft Azure, the retailers cloud platform. 

Through the partnership, Kroger will pilot a connected store experience and will jointly market a commercial Retail as a Service product to the industry.

"Kroger is building a seamless ecosystem driven by data and technology to provide our customers with personalized food inspiration. We are identifying partners through Restock Kroger who will help us reinvent the customer experience and create new profit streams that will also accelerate our core business growth. We are excited to collaborate with Microsoft to redefine grocery retail," says Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO.

The two pilot locations — in Monroe, Ohio and Redmond, Washington — will leverage Retail as a Service as a way to quickly add innovations and create new customer experiences, enable higher levels of personalization through insights and enhance store associate productivity. 

For example, according to Kroger, by using Microsoft Azure to store and process the data generated in stores, near the smart shelves and on Kroger's app, the digital stores will introduce never-before-seen shopping experiences, including the latest generation of EDGE Shelf (Enhanced Display for Grocery Environment), a shelving system that uses digital displays, instead of traditional paper tags, to indicate everything from prices and promotions to nutritional and dietary information.