Amazon Counters Walmart with Free Same-Day Grocery Delivery for Prime

| Mike O'Brien

Amazon waited an entire month to swing back at Walmart’s new same-day grocery delivery program, making delivery from Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods free for Prime members by eliminating the $14.99/month charge on $35 and up orders. It’s available in 2,000 cities and towns, mostly through Amazon’s 480 Whole Foods stores.

Kroger Pilots 30-Minute Grocery Deliveries in Cincinnati Area

| Mike O'Brien

In the never-ending quest for delivery immediacy, grocer Kroger is testing out 30-minute deliveries in its home market of Cincinnati, cutting the promised time from Amazon’s Prime Now in half. Called Kroger Rush, the service costs $5.95 per order, with the first order free, and requires an app download.

FedEx Expands Pickup Network with Dollar General Partnership

| Mike O'Brien

FedEx has partnered with discount retailer Dollar General, offering dropoff and pickup services at 8,000 Dollar General stores by the end of 2020, giving it rural penetration it lacked. Along with its own stores and partnerships that also include Walgreens, Kroger and Albertsons, FedEx now has a network of 62,000 locations.

Time to Deep-Six Omnichannel and Focus on Experience

| Seeta Hariharan

It’s about time retailers drop the term omnichannel from their vocabulary. Creating an omnichannel experience is not even that difficult. What is much harder is giving your customers a reason to shop, a belief that you are looking out for and providing them with unique experiences that they appreciate.

Kroger Selects Orlando Area for Second Automated Fulfillment Center

| Mike O'Brien

Kroger plans to build the second of 20 automated distribution centers in partnership with UK grocer Ocado for fulfilling ecommerce orders in Groveland, FL. The state-of-the-art FCs, built by Kroger and powered by Ocado’s automation technology, are just part of Kroger’s innovation push including driverless and same-day delivery.

Cause of Ocado Fire Highlights Concerns About Automated Warehouses

| Mike O'Brien

The Feb. 5 fire that completely gutted an automated Ocado grocery fulfillment center in the UK was caused by a failure in an “ambient grid” storing food at room temperature, raising concerns about what happens in these types of facilities when disaster strikes, according to a Bloomberg report.