Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) is used to being the industry disrupter, but grocer Kroger Co. (KR) and software company Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) have teamed up to encroach on the online retailing giant's territory.
The two companies announced they are remodeling two test stores to try out certain features like "digital shelves" that can show ads among other digital breakthroughs using RaaS feeds.
"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," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO.
Microsoft Azure, the company's cloud service arm, is running the digital aspect of the experiment.
"The introduction of the commercial RaaS product, a Kroger solution powered by Microsoft Azure, offers a suite of capabilities to support KPIs and merchandising plans, collect customer insights, enhance employee productivity, improve out-of-stocks, better the customer experience, and allow for hyper personalization using proprietary technology including the EDGE Shelf," Kroger said in a statement.
The two companies promised to transform the customer experience and enhance productivity for store associates through their collaboration.
Kroger shares rose 1% to end at $27.92, while Microsoft shares edged up 0.1% to end at $102.06.