Grocers are leveraging cross-category partnerships in an effort to become a destination that goes well beyond meeting just consumers’ food and beverage needs. On Tuesday (Nov. 2), Kroger, the largest pure-play grocer in the United States, announced a partnership with home goods retailer Bed Bath & Beyond to offer a limited selection of top-selling home and baby products at the grocer’s stores and on its online shop.
“Every day, we look for new and differentiated ways and experiences to meet our customers evolving needs and elevate and celebrate the moments that matter most to our customers,” Rodney McMullen, chairman and CEO of Kroger, said in a statement. “As an illustration, Bed Bath & Beyond has a compelling portfolio of products that complement the items our customers already love to shop.”
For retailers, partnerships such as these offer the opportunity to leverage grocers’ highly trafficked stores to create more sales opportunities. A consumer who goes to a grocery store twice a week, for instance, may only go to a home goods store every few months. The same goes for each brand’s ecommerce channels.
“Today’s announcement is a key milestone, bringing Bed Bath & Beyond and buybuy Baby products to reach more customers than ever before,” Bed Bath & Beyond president and CEO Mark Tritton said. “Our product assortment combined with Kroger’s customer base will present extensive opportunities for current and future customers.”
Grocers have increasingly been finding ways to expand their value prop beyond just food.
Supermarket chain Hy-Vee, which operates 280 stores across the Midwest, announced in September that it is partnering with exercise equipment brand Johnson Fitness & Wellness to bring fitness showrooms at select stores, wherein shoppers can try out treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes and other equipment. Later that month, Texas chain H-E-B, which operates more than 420 stores in Texas and Mexico, announced a partnership with retailer James Avery Artisan Jewelry to bring jewelry shops into its stores.
Read more: Hy-Vee Debuts Fitness Showrooms
PYMNTS research indicates that brands and retailers that can meet consumers’ needs across as many pillars of the ConnectedEconomy™ as possible — how we eat, shop, pay, live, travel, bank, work, communicate, have fun and stay well—have the opportunity to build deeper relationships with their customers. This Bed Bath & Beyond partnership expands Kroger’s reach to include how consumers live and stay well.
What Insiders are Saying
“There’s no other vertical where customers are coming to the store, to the website, every week. Other ecommerce websites would kill to get customers visiting them every week,” Stor.ai CEO Orlee Tal said in an interview with PYMNTS. “If you already have the eyeballs on your website, you can start selling electronics and fashion and books, and whatever you dream to and, and get those spontaneous purchases … and do nothing, except for get the benefits of selling it.”
Partnerships such as these are part of a broader rethink that grocers have been engaging in since March 2020.
“This combination of rethinking our value proposition and the investment of digital technology, we call it forming a digital relationship with the consumer,” IGA President and CEO John Ross told PYMNTS. “If we can connect to them in that powerful way online, the total loyalty proposition is so much better and that preps us to compete in the long run, whether it’s against Kroger, Safeway or Amazon.”