Nearly a year after launching an exploratory pilot, The Kroger Co. and Walgreens announced they are expanding on it.

The companies say they are introducing a new test area for both retailers, featuring the expansion of Kroger Express and Kroger Pickup at select Walgreens locations as well as the launch of Walgreens' owned-brand health and beauty products in 17 Krogers stores in Knoxville, Tennessee.

The two retailers began the pilot in October 2018 in 13 Walgreens stores in Northern Kentucky, near Kroger's Cincinnati headquarters.

“We continue to redefine the grocery customer experience and partner for customer value through our Restock Kroger transformation plan. Our growing relationship with Walgreens is just one more way Kroger is making life easier and better for even more customers – because everyone deserves to have affordable, easy-to-enjoy, fresh food,” says Jeff Talbot, Kroger’s vice president of new business development. “Expanding our pilot to Knoxville demonstrates the ongoing success and future potential of bringing together the best of Kroger’s food authority with Walgreens’ global expertise in health and beauty.” 

Beginning in the fall, 35 Walgreens locations in Tennessee with feature a curated selection of Kroger's Our Brands products.The assortment will vary  by store and can include fresh meat, produce and dairy, frozen foods, shelf-stable products and Home Chef meal solutions. Most location swill feature a full Kroger Express assortment, with up to 2,700 products, while other stores will offer 2,300 products, on average.

The Knoxville expansion will also pilot a curated selection of Walgreens' owned-brand health and beauty products in 17 Kroger stores, also debuting in the fall. The destination will feature several categories, including beauty, personal care, over-the-counter medications and wellness.

"Walgreens customers have responded very favorably to the Kroger Express pilot in Northern Kentucky. As a result, we're exploring more ways to offer customers an enhanced, more convenient shopping experience," says Richard Ashworth, Walgreens president of operations. "Working with Kroger, we're continuing to re-invent our customer offer to meet shoppers' evolving needs, which includes offering private-label grocery and health products at a great value, through an integrated omnichannel experience."